Guardian reporter among winners of climate journalism awards

18 09 2023 | 19:51Mark Oliver /THE GUARDIAN

Covering Climate Now cites Damian Carrington for investigating ‘carbon bombs’ and super-emitting methane leaks


Covering Climate Now, the global journalism collaboration, is announcing its media awards this week at a time when audiences need to know how and why “the planet is on fire” and what can be done, judges said.

CCN’s climate journalists of the year for 2023 are Damian Carrington of the Guardian, Manka Behl of the Times of India and Amy Westervelt, the founder of the Critical Frequency podcast network.

Naomi Klein, the international bestselling author, won in the commentary category, while Ishan Kukreti of the Indian non-profit won for long-form writing.

The awards are being announced during UN climate week in New York and come in a year of record-shattering heatwaves, wildfires and floods that have destroyed lives in the US, Europe and beyond – and amid warnings from experts who fear the worst may be yet to come.

Covering Climate Now is a global collaboration involving some 600 news outlets with a reach of more than 2 billion people, and its media awards program was launched three years ago to spread standards of excellence in climate journalism.

This year’s winners were selected from a list of finalists from more than 1,100 entries from 29 countries, and chosen by more than 100 journalists.

In the three citations for journalists of the year:

  • Behl of the Times of India was praised by judges for reports “from the frontlines of the crisis in one of the world’s most climate-important countries” and for her interviews with leaders.

  • Carrington of the Guardian was credited for science-based reporting that “explains that politics and corporate power, not a lack of green technologies, are what block climate progress”, and cited for leading a reporting team on investigating “carbon bombs” and super-emitting methane leaks.

  • Westervelt was described as a prolific, multiplatform reporter for Critical Frequency whose work exposes how fossil fuel companies continue to mislead the public and policymakers alike.

“Every news outlet on earth can learn from the engaged, hard-hitting journalism that Manka, Damian and Amy bring to the climate story,” said Mark Hertsgaard, the executive director of Covering Climate Now. “It’s reporting like this that arms the public with the power that knowledge gives.”

Damian Carrington, Guardian environment editor, in 2019. Photograph: Jill Mead/The Guardian

The awards recognized six Special Honors winners for “rigorous investigative reports, eye-opening exposes of climate injustice, and much-needed analyses of climate solutions”:

“Audiences need to know not only that the planet is on fire but why that’s happening and what can be done about it,” said Kyle Pope, the editor and publisher of the Columbia Journalism Review and chair of the Covering Climate Now journalism awards judging committee. “This year’s winners exemplify the best in public-spirited journalism.”

Additional winners include Hearst Television, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Agence France-Presse and the Los Angeles Times, and smaller enterprises such as Traffic Broadcasting System (Seoul), which won best documentary for Dystopia of Seoul.

Two emerging journalists, Alejandro de la Garza and Sanket Jain, and two student journalists, Cameron Oglesby and Kate Selig, were honored for promising debuts on the climate beat.


Photograph: Charlie Riedel/AP - A saguaro cactus outside Phoenix, 22 February 2016. On 9 September 2023, Phoenix broke a heat record, hitting 43C (110F) for a 54th day.