New Report Finds The Climate Project Key to Transforming Public Perception of Climate Change

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Impact evaluation concludes that Al Gore's global non-profit, with its grassroots, word-of-mouth approach influences people to live greener lives.

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The Climate Project, based on findings from this study, has seeded a movement of knowledgeable and engaged individuals focused on taking action to solve the climate crisis.

A recent study of The Climate Project (TCP) by Milepost Consulting concludes that TCP presentations have had marked effects on public attitudes about climate change. The report found that those who previously did not identify as "environmentalists" underwent the greatest mental shift, becoming more likely to support emissions reduction and reduce their carbon footprint. Moreover, the evaluation suggests that TCP, an international non-profit founded by former Vice President Al Gore, has created a new, unique environmental movement by customizing its message by region and community.

"The results of this evaluation demonstrate that TCP, at the grassroots level, has made a positive difference in the climate change debate," said Jenny Clad, Executive Director of the Climate Project. "We are incredibly proud of the work our volunteers do, each TCP presenter owns part of this success."

People who attend TCP talks are more likely to change their behavior on behalf of the environment after watching the slideshow, which is based on Gore's presentation in An Inconvenient Truth. According to the study, if this intention translates into simple actions at home, like changing incandescent light bulbs to energy efficient bulbs, presentation attendees would reduce carbon emissions by 569,755 tons annually, the approximate equivalent of taking 109,702 passenger cars off the road each year.

Milepost Consulting managed the evaluation and worked in collaboration with researchers from Stork Marketing and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The report's conclusions are based on data collected over six months from TCP's first 1000 U.S. trained presenters as well as presentation attendees.

The results indicate that audiences left TCP presentations:

  •      Substantially more knowledgeable about climate change
  •      More supportive of emissions reduction efforts
  •      Highly committed to reducing their own carbon footprint

According to lead researcher Dr. Dune Ives, "The Climate Project, based on findings from this study, has seeded a movement of knowledgeable and engaged individuals focused on taking action to solve the climate crisis."

The Climate Project's efforts have not only affected audiences, but also the presenters themselves. As a result of their work with TCP, presenters committed to changing their lifestyles to conserve energy and lessen environmental impact. Together, they cut their personal carbon emissions by an estimated 30%. TCP presenters also reported that climate change became an important factor when voting and making investment decisions, a direct result of their work with TCP.

The Executive Summary of the evaluation is available here: http://theclimateproject.org/tcpnews.php?id=1248.

Founded in 2006, The Climate Project consists of more than 3,000 volunteer presenters internationally. These individuals include athletes, scientists, artists, academics, teenagers, faith leaders, business executives, educators, retirees, and others. Presenters begin their work with training and personal direction from Gore. Then they are encouraged to customize their talks by region and audience. Frequently, this customization and necessary additional research helps audiences better understand the immediacy of the climate crisis as well as the simplicity of the solutions they can implement to combat it.

TCP presentations are available to the public free of charge and are appropriate for any size group or organization. Presentations are continuously updated to include the latest climate science and current effects of climate change. If you would like to host a TCP presentation in your community, please visit http://www.theclimateproject.org/presentation.php. If you're interested in requesting a presentation from TCP's international branches, please visit our partners' websites, which can also be found at http://www.theclimateproject.org/presenation.php.

About The Climate Project

The Climate Project (TCP) is an international non-profit organization founded by Nobel Laureate and former Vice President Al Gore. With its global headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee, TCP's mission is to increase public awareness of the climate crisis in the United States and abroad. TCP consists of a professional staff and more than 3,000 volunteers worldwide who have personally been trained by Gore to present a version of the slide show featured in the Academy Award-winning film An Inconvenient Truth. In February 2009, TCP expanded its mission with a new commitment to advocacy and activism to combat climate crisis.

About the TCP Impact Evaluation

The evaluation, managed by Milepost Consulting and in collaboration with researchers from Stork Marketing and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, included surveys of all presenters as well as in-depth interviews with 50 randomly selected presenters, surveys of presentation attendees were also performed. Data were collected from September 2008 to March 2009.

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Carrie Criado
The Climate Project
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