Sustainable Finance

Cognito Report: Media Coverage of Climate Finance and ESG Increasing by 50 Percent Annually

Published on: 30 June 2022
by KnowESG
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Climate transition, sustainable finance, and ESG are receiving increased media attention as pressure mounts on financial institutions to effectively communicate the actual corporate action-driving climate transition and the drive to net zero. These are some of the key conclusions of a report released by Cognito, a communications and marketing agency.

According to the survey, references to ESG and sustainable finance increased by more than 50% in major media outlets in 2021 compared to the previous year. 

Mentions of 'climate transition', on the other hand, increased 135 per cent over the same period, with high increases in the banking, insurance, and energy sectors.

Cognito also looked at how the press has covered the primary solutions driving the net-zero transformation. Coverage of the majority of the 11 solutions investigated, ranging from carbon allowances and offsets to hydrogen, increased by more than 50%. Some media outlets only covered two of these options in 2020, but by 2021, most were covering all 11 climate alternatives.

Carbon allowances and offsets (+378 per cent), natural capital (+113 per cent), and hydrogen (+68 per cent) saw the greatest increase in coverage. Bloomberg (+228 per cent), the South China Morning Post (+330 per cent), and the Financial Times (+40 per cent) saw the highest rise in climate transition solutions coverage, while the Wall Street Journal remained steady.

Charlie Morrow, Director at Cognito and Sustainability Practice Leader, and report co-author said: 

“Our research shows that media attention on climate transition has reached a new level, and is still increasing. With more coverage comes more noise, but we see an opening for companies and institutions to tell increasingly granular and authentic stories about their role in the transition.”

“We heard time and time again during our research about the challenges of reporting and communicating stories on the green transition. This report is designed as a guide for creating the dialogue that leads to meaningful change in the financial industry and beyond,” added Jon Schubin, Director in Cognito’s London office and report co-author.

Cognito analysed over 25,000 articles from 20 major media organisations and interviewed over 40 reporters, PR professionals, and business leads for the report, titled "The Communications of Climate Transition - The Signal and the Noise."

Source: Business Wire

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