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Transmitting the transition in a moment of climate crisis: an analysis of intermediaries’ communication practices

D.L. Wuebben, J. Romero-Luis, A. Carbonell-Alcocer

Environmental Communication


Distinct rhetoric and approaches are used to communicate the facts and possibilities of the climate crisis and energy transitions. To better understand climate and energy-related communication practices and objectives at the national level, this research applies grounded theory analysis to transcripts of semi-structured interviews with intermediaries in Spain. The intermediaries interviewed include researchers, engineers, professionals with energy-related roles in government, and coordinators of electricity cooperatives. Our analysis produced two overarching results: (1) communication is seen as a means to raise awareness, change behavior, and engage the public, and each of these means is seen as a method to empower citizens; (2) the language of systemic change is used broadly to refer to changing political, economic, or technological systems; however, some systemic changes seem incomplete or incompatible with other systems. Further research is required to test these hypotheses and show how distinct communication approaches might be reconciled in energy transition policy and initiatives.

Spanish layman's summary:

Análisis por medio de la teoría fundamentada de las transcripciones de entrevistas semiestructuradas de intermediarios involucrado en la transición energética en España.

English layman's summary:

This study uses grounded theory to analyze interviews with diverse intermediaries in the energy transition in Spain. It identifies communication as key to citizen engagement and systemic change and potential conflicts between targets, messages, and framings.

Keywords: Energy transition; public engagement; intermediaries; grounded theory; energy policy

JCR Impact Factor and WoS quartile: 2,700 - Q2 (2022)

DOI reference: DOI icon https://doi.org/10.1080/17524032.2024.2339271

In press: April 2024.

D.L. Wuebben, J. Romero-Luis, A. Carbonell-Alcocer, Transmitting the transition in a moment of climate crisis: an analysis of intermediaries’ communication practices. Environmental Communication.

    Research topics:
  • Long-term energy scenarios : Long-term energy scenarios
  • Social inclusion, vulnerability, longevity and wellbeing