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Climate Misinformation Presents ‘Clear and Present Danger’

Media companies and advertisers need to help stamp out climate-change misinformation, industry stakeholders have warned, after a  major United Nations report highlighted the issue as a key obstacle.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) latest report highlighted the growth in misinformation as an obstacle to tackling climate change.

Jake Dubbins, managing director at MediaBounty and co-founder and co-chair of The Conscious Advertising Network told The Media Leader: “‘Within the IPCC report the ‘growth in misinformation’ is called out as an attempt “to maintain the status quo by actors in positions of power in the face of rising social inertia for climate action.”

“It is clear from the deeply alarming IPCC report that climate misinformation is a clear and present danger to the climate action that we all desperately need to see to avert the worst impacts.

“All stakeholders – legislators, UN agencies, tech platforms, publishers, business and advertisers – must work together to adopt a common definition for climate misinformation and confront it head on before it is too late.”

Closing window of opportunity

In its sixth assessment report published this week, the IPCC acknowledged that human-induced climate change, including “frequent and intense extreme events”, have already caused loss and damage to nature and people beyond natural climate variation.

It added: “Across sectors and regions the most vulnerable people and systems are observed to be disproportionately affected. The rise in weather and climate extremes has led to some irreversible impacts as natural and human systems are pushed beyond
their ability to adapt.”

The IPCC estimated 3.3 to 3.6 billion people live in places that are “highly
vulnerable” to climate change, the equivalent of over 40% of the world’s population, as well as “a high proportion” of species.

The report concluded: “Any further delay in concerted anticipatory global action on adaptation and mitigation will miss a brief and rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all.”

Ad Net Zero

A spokesperson for the Advertising Association said: “The latest IPCC report is a stark reminder of the need for immediate climate action.

“UK advertising has a clear action plan to tackle the climate emergency through Ad Net Zero and its target of net zero ad operations by end 2030. We are determined to make tangible, long-term changes to the way we work and the work we produce, not just here in the UK but around the world.”

They added: “Every single person working in the advertising and marketing services industries can act now by encouraging their companies to get involved in Ad Net Zero and by completing the Ad Net Zero Essential Certificate.”

“It is imperative all companies in our industry take action as part of the drive to tackle this global issue.”

Later this summer the AA will introduce a new certification standard for companies to prove they can deliver sustainable ad operations.

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