Study about the political effects of declaring a climate emergency


In a study titled ‘The political effects of emergency frames in sustainability’, academic experts highlight that the Climate Emergency Declaration campaign has been successful in key areas. The stsudy was published on on 26 July 2021.

What are the political effects of declaring a climate and biodiversity emergency? A team of academics at the University of Sussex Business School, Utrecht University, University of Sheffield and the University of Oslo have plowed their way through dozens of studies and expert literature – alltogether 119 papers, articles and publications – to see if they could come with a clear answer to this question.

Neil Vowles wrote about the study on, where he summarised the findings of the study in this way:

“While the study found that expert opinion into the efficacy of calling global emergencies was divided, the academics identified a number of benefits including the ability of such announcements to generate public focus and support while empowering activists. The study also noted such declarations have the potential to create a platform for new groups and voices, particularly among young activists.

The authors also noted that emergency frames can be energising and allow feelings of inspiration, hope and a sense of efficacy to spread quickly around the world, as witnessed by the rapid and global diffusion of school student strikes inspired by the actions of Greta Thunberg.

The fact that climate emergency declarations strongly reinforce science-based and pro-action discourses as well as potentially help to build solidarity at multiple levels of governance, and demonstrate the possibilities of collaboration, were also identified as key benefits by the study.

But the researchers also warn that the calling of emergencies can be emotionally draining and induce feelings of exhaustion, anxiety, guilt and fear leaving citizens so overwhelmed that they take no action at all.”

→ Nature Sustainability – 26 July 2021:
The political effects of emergency frames in sustainability

→ – 3 September 2021:
Experts split over effectiveness of climate emergency declarations