Since COP26, a coalition of organisations across Europe, Australia, Africa, and North America have continued working together to minimise climate mis/disinformation in public life and prevent its attempts to jeopardise the effective implementation of climate policies at both the national and international level.
Civil society organisations such as CAN, CCDH, ISD, SFH, Climate Disinformation Coalition, Climate Nexus, Friends of Earth US, etc. meet regularly to share information and work together to make sure that the decision-makers at national and international levels recognise the climate disinformation threat and, together with media companies and platforms take action against it.
In February 2022, the European Union became the first ever policymaking body to officially acknowledge the urgency of defining and tackling climate misinformation. Lawmakers at the EU Parliament overwhelmingly backed a report on Foreign Interference in all Democratic Processes in the EU, which urges MEPs to “urgently address climate mis- and disinformation” and to implement a “global code of conduct”
In April 2022, Pinterest announced a robust policy to reduce climate change disinformation in content and ads including clearly defined guidelines against false or misleading climate change information and a broad definition of climate misinformation based on the Coalition’s asks in our COP26 Open Letter. This action was referenced by former President of the United States, Barack Obama, within the reading list for his keynote address on disinformation and challenges to democracy in the digital realm.
In April 2022, Twitter announced a new policy to demonetise climate denial in their advertising stating “We believe that climate denialism shouldn’t be monetized on Twitter, and that misrepresentative ads shouldn’t detract from important conversations about the climate crisis.”
While these actions show that it is both technically and financially possible to take strong action to reduce climate disinformation, it is not a long term sustainable approach. It is increasingly clear that we require a universal definition for climate misinformation to allow for international co-operation in tackling it.
The April 2022 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) provided a stark warning for the consequences of failing to act, while describing the “growth in misinformation” as an attempt “to maintain the status quo by actors in positions of power”.
Therefore, we remain committed to the asks from our open letter.