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Climatic Change

, Volume 140, Issue 3–4, pp 413–422 | Cite as

Who speaks for climate change in China? Evidence from Weibo

  • John Chung-En Liu
  • Bo Zhao
Article

Abstract

Social media provides a new and expanding forum to discuss climate change. Existing research in this area has focused mainly on Twitter and discussions in the United States, while online discussion of climate change in China has been largely unexamined. To fill this gap, we analyzed discussion about climate change on China’s premiere microblogging website, Weibo, over a two month period surrounding the Paris Climate Summit. The results show that institutional users-state media and international actors-dominate the discussion, while Chinese NGOs and public intellectuals are mostly absent from the scene. Discussion on climate change is concentrated in major urban areas, especially in Beijing. A significant proportion of Weibo posts aim to raise climate change awareness; few users discuss topics such as climate science, climate change’s actual impacts on China, or China’s low-carbon policy measures. Climate change appears as a global threat that has little connection to China's national context.

Keywords

Climate Change Pearl River Delta Public Intellectual World Wildlife Fund Climate Change Information 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyOccidental CollegeLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric SciencesOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA

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