More than 250 companies and advertisers are calling on government leaders participating in COP26 and technology platforms to fight climate misinformation, which they say is hindering progress in reaching sustainability goals.
The organizations, led by the Conscious Advertising Network, have signed a letter addressed to the various leaders to address the misinformation, which they say threatens climate negotiations and overall policy and standards implementation. They say the misinformation is rampant and not enough is being done to identify and remove it from various platforms.
The organizations say climate misinformation has become a business model, and a report by NewsGuard and Comscore says that brands have spent $2.6 billion of advertising on sites containing what it calls misinformation.
The letter asks for a universal definition of climate information, an action against climate misinformation to be included in COP26 outcomes and for technology platforms to implement climate information policies.
The organizations say that the misinformation can misrepresent scientific data and can seem supportive of climate goals but go against mitigation and adaptation efforts. They say there should be a standard definition in line with International Panel on Climate Change scientific consensus and the Paris Climate Agreement.
Businesses and organizations have been using the COP26 gathering and other recent climate and sustainability efforts to encourage more action by government leaders to make changes and implement new regulations.
At the beginning of COP26, there were 57 organizations in Europe worth $9.8 trillion that asked the European support standards supporting IFRS Foundation’s launch of the International Sustainability Standards Board. They say they need the standards to improve international supply chain sustainability and help companies with a reporting standard.
Businesses in Europe also recently asked for there to be a standard set on the reporting of emissions goals.
Additionally, 163 companies in the United States sent a letter to Congress urging the passage of infrastructure and clean energy legislation, including the Biden Administration’s Build Back Better Act that allocates $555 billion toward climate action.
Companies that took part in the letter regarding misinformation include Sky, Virgin Media O2, Ben and Jerry’s and British Gas.