2. COP26 got a lot of coverage but little buzz
COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, billed as the world's last, best chance to limit global warming below potentially devastating levels, generated far more online attention than other recent milestone climate change news events, Neal Rothschild and Andrew write.
However, this was largely due to the volume of coverage, as individual stories saw a decline in interactions on social media as the summit went on.
Why it matters: The trend speaks to the current state of climate news coverage: The issue is getting much more widespread policy and media attention, but it’s becoming harder to get the public to pay close attention.
Stories published about COP26 over a three-week period generated 6.5 million interactions on social media (likes, comments, shares), according to exclusive data from NewsWhip.
Yes, but: On a per-story basis, interaction for COP26 was much lower — 37 per story versus 247 for COP25 and 1,070 for the 2018 IPCC report. The lack of engagement per story may have been at least partly due to the sheer volume of COP26 content.
Between the lines: Interest in this year’s conference peaked in its first few days (Nov. 1-2) when more than 100 world leaders gathered in Glasgow and President Biden addressed the summit, according to data from Keyhole and Google Trends.
- It tumbled during the remainder of the conference, as topics got more technical.
- Not even the final, historic agreement to move away from fossil fuels pushed numbers up on the summit’s last day — the 161,000 interactions were the lowest of the entire event.