How to recognise the inevitable: Latvian media narratives on climate change

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Political elites over the world face considerable challenges in getting societies into climate change mitigation and adaptation activities. The process is even more complicated by complex media ecologies, into which official strategic narratives are modified and contested. This study explores the media narratives on climate change and their alignment with the official political narrative in a country located on the European Union's eastern border – Latvia, analysing the representation of climate change by the four most popular digital Latvian news platforms in Latvian and Russian languages. Observing that recognition and international cooperation narratives dominate, this study concludes that media only partially project the official political narrative, which focuses on opportunities from climate change. By considering multiple perspectives of scientists, politicians, society and businesses, the media provide an arena of contestation. At the same time, the media narratives lack a domesticated alternative on climate change that is fundamental for an action-encouraging discursive environment. As a result, the image of climate change as a geographically distant, internationally addressed, negotiated and contested phenomenon persists, yet the role of Latvian actors remains unspecified. Illuminating the climate change strategic narrative projection in Latvia, this study complements the research on climate change media coverage in Central and Eastern Europe and provides insights into the communication challenges the region faces.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100816
JournalEnvironmental Development
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • Climate change
  • Strategic narratives
  • Alignment
  • Engagement
  • Domestication
  • European green deal

Field of Science*

  • 5.6 Political science
  • 5.8 Media and Communication

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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