IPCC Reports on Climate Change and Media : Comparing Media Coverage of IPCC AR4 and AR5

Monday, 11 July 2016: 10:55
Location: Hörsaal 50 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Midori AOYAGI, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan
This paper compares and discusses two IPCC reports, AR4 in 2007 and AR5 in 2013~2014 with their media exposure and public perception on them in Japan. According to newspaper coverage database by University of Colorado (http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/icecaps/research/media_coverage/index.html), media coverage in 2007 and 2013~2014, though peaks were longer and higher in 2007, newspaper coverage for climate change increased in both periods in the world as a whole. But in Japan, we could see none or very small peaks in 2013~2014, while we could see huge peak in 2007. We explore the reason why there were very few media coverage compared to 2007 media coverage on IPCC report in 2013~2014. Our hypothesis is its relationship of revising the Japanese Basic Energy Plan, which is deeply connected with Japanese economy.

Japan government submitted 2020 Greenhouse gas reduction target (-3.8% compared to 2005) in November 29, 2013. The revised Basic Energy Plan was approved by the cabinet and released April 11, 2014, just after Japan government hosted IPCC WG2 general meeting on late March in Yokohama. This was followed by the Greenhouse gas reduction target for 2030 (-26% compared to 2013) in July 17, 2015, Interestingly, the Prime Minister Abe was governed both AR4 and AR5 were released. During this period, so called “Abenomics” was implemented and it seemed to be worked well. Unemployment rate had been improved.

We analyze the background of changes of these target level, Japanese economic situation, media coverage on climate change and public attitudes towards the climate change.