Charter of the Climate Journalism Network Austria

The climate crisis already touches all areas of our lives — and thus all areas of journalism. Climate journalism explains the crisis and shows causes, consequences and solutions.

The climate crisis is not one topic but — like democracy and human rights — is one dimension of every topic. Climate journalism is therefore not limited to individual events and cannot take place solely within narrow departmental and jurisdictional boundaries.

Climate journalism draws on the findings of social and natural sciences in an interdisciplinary manner, keeps an eye on other ecological crises such as species extinction, and is guided by the best research. In light of the urgency of the crisis, climate journalism constructively points out solutions and critically evaluates them to foster informed democratic discourse.

Climate journalism needs supportive structures. Publishers and broadcasters bear responsibility on different levels: they should provide training and education for their editorial teams and divest from fossil fuels and corresponding advertisements.

Dependence on fossil fuels drives wars and conflicts. Climate journalism makes this transparent and shows pathways to global climate justice. It illuminates the causes of social inequality and the effects of the climate crisis along lines of background, wealth, gender and other demographics.

Short-term economic interests jeopardize the medium- and long-term interests of humanity and nature. Climate journalism avoids „false balance“ and exposes the evasive and deceptive tactics of individuals, corporations and organizations.

The climate crisis is human-caused. Fundamental changes in our ways of living and doing business are needed immediately to limit global warming. The Global North bears historical responsibility for the climate crisis through colonialism and the growth paradigm of its economies. Climate journalism acknowledges this and confronts those responsible with the fact that they are steering the world into an irreversible catastrophe if they do not act decisively in the coming years.

Climate journalism makes clear that the climate crisis also threatens democracy and fundamental rights. The Paris Climate Agreement of 2015 and the resulting commitment to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius at best are guiding principles and guardrails for climate journalism.

In view of this, climate journalism contributes — by educating the public — to a clear ethical and ecological goal: the preservation of the basis of life for all living beings on this planet.

April 2022

For the lists of signatories, please visit the German version.

Sign the charter here.