Climate change is one of the most complex challenges facing the international community today. Efforts to prevent an unsustainable rise in carbon emissions and protect biodiversity require not only immediate and large-scale changes to our societies, economies and daily lives, but also united agreement among a vast range of actors with different values, perspectives and interests. 

Soft power plays a vital role in international cooperation. By engaging people through the arts, culture, education, language and other attractive cultural assets, cultural relations build familiarity and trust between people. They provide a platform on which international connections and collaborations can be built and sustained.

New research for the British Council draws on experience from the field of international cultural relations as well as the latest academic research on values, behaviours and norms to understand more about how we can create the conditions for co-operation on shared global challenges.

It delivers new insight on values and attitudes towards climate change among the populations of China, India, Japan and Mexico – selected to represent a diverse range of major world economies who are also important players in the global climate change debate.

The research also draws on the experience of international cultural relations experts to provide new insight on how to strengthen international cooperation on climate change and the important role that cultural relations can play in supporting that.


The full research report is available for download below:

  • The Big Conversation Climate Change

Authors: Michael Bruter, Sarah Harrison, Sandra Obradović and Elisabet Vives, LSE Consulting

The British Council policy summary is also available for download below:

  • Acting together on climate change: attitudes, values and new approaches to international co-operation

Author: Alison Baily, Senior Policy Analyst and Advisor, Stability and Security, British Council