CLIMATE RADIO: RESONANCE FM

Supporting the work of Resonance FM – “the best radio station in the world”

Since its inception in 2003, Climate Radio has grown organically from a few one-off broadcasts, to regular and highly-regarded productions that are distributed by independent media worldwide. 

Journalist Phil England initially conceived of a series of three 90-minute long programmes for broadcast and webcast on the award-winning community radio station ResonanceFM in central London. These programmes established the range and tone of Climate Radio productions by looking at the science of climate change, the political response and the solutions available at the individual, local, national and international levels, via in-depth interviews with leading experts in each field.

In 2005 a new series of weekly programmes, ‘Climate Confidential’, continued to explore these issues in a lucid fashion and in a way that was frequently ahead of the national debate. That same year Climate Outreach Information Network turned the programmes into a permanent resource by designing and building an internet archive for the broadcasts that is accessible worldwide.

When producer Phil England gave up his part-time employment in 2006 to work on the Climate Radio project full-time with the support of grant funding, the project developed significantly. Around a dozen community radio stations in the UK started rebroadcasting the programmes which were also made available free to not-for-profit community radio stations internationally through the A-Infos Radio portal.

Climate Radio helped to normalise low-carbon behaviours by celebrating their multiple benefits in a series entitled ‘The Low Carbon Show’ while making the politics of climate change engaging in ‘The Two Degrees Show’.

The project continued to grow in impact over the next couple of years as the highly-regarded Pacifica Network in the United States started to offer Climate Radio programmes to their network of over fifty listener-supported community radio stations. Indymedia UK and The Ecologist also made the programmes available and promoted them to their audiences.

In 2009, Public Information Research Centre redesigned the Climate Radio archive, bringing enhanced functionality and a fresh look to the site. During the year, ‘The 300-350 Show’ was the only regular weekly programme that helped explain the key issues in the run up to the historic UN climate change conference in Copenhagen. In December the Climate Radio production team expanded to a group of five in order to provide daily coverage from both inside the UN conference centre and outside on the streets in Copenhaghen. The ‘Copenhagen Daily’ programme ran for 60 minutes each day of the conference’s two week duration.

As Copenhagen failed, it has become imperative that the new decade becomes a focused period of people- and community-led transformation that goes beyond zero emissions.

“Artists Project Earth have enabled Resonance FM’s Climate Radio project to flourish at a particularly crucial time. Public understanding of the key issues around the climate solutions debate is critical as the UN Climate Talks reach their endgame. By syndicating these programmes as widely as possible through community networks we hope to play our small part in advancing the debates so that civil society can be engaged in an informed way.” Phil England, Series Producer
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