During the second week of COP26 in Glasgow, the Conscious Advertising Network (CAN)—a coalition of more than 70 organizations—issued an open letter to the summit’s presidency, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the CEOs of tech companies including Google, Meta, Reddit, TikTok, and Twitter.
The letter called for the adoption of a clear, universal definition of what constitutes climate disinformation and misinformation, as well as how to identify and address it. It was signed by climate and misinformation experts, as well as some 250 businesses, including SSE, Sky, British Gas, Virgin Media O2, and Havas Media.
This plea and wide-ranging effort comes at a time when public discourse about tech platforms’ reach and the urgency of climate action are increasingly converging.
So it was not surprising that the initiative was directed not just at governments and institutions, but social media platforms, too: For the past several years, they have been the engine behind the steady rise of online climate misinformation.