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COP27: Fossil Fuel Industry Spent €3.7 Million on “Climate Disinformation” – Report

COP27: Fossil Fuel Industry Spent €3.7 Million on “Climate Disinformation” – Report

The oil and gas industry spent almost four million dollars (about 3.7 million euros) on posting “misleading” messages on social media about the climate crisis on the occasion of the last climate summit.

The 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) was held in November 2022 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, and the figure is included in a report released today by the Climate Action Network Against Misinformation (CAAD), according to Spanish news agency EFE.

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The study analyses campaigns on Facebook and Instagram that encouraged “false or biased” speeches on the climate crisis in the context of the international meeting.

Coordinated by the British Institute for Strategic Dialogue, the work was prepared by several organisations and groups such as ACT Climate Labs, Code for Africa, Climate Nexus, Greenpeace and Union of Concerned Scientists, among others.

The report considers “climate disinformation” the dissemination of content that minimizes the seriousness of climate change, that denies it or that presents measures that contradict the scientific consensus on the subject as positive to stop global warming.

The study identifies the fossil fuel industry, the main causes of global warming, among those who spent the most on “climate disinformation” ads regarding the COP27.

Between September 1 and November 23, 2022 the research identified 3,781 ads – most of them promoted by the group Energy Citizens, linked to the American Petroleum Institute – with messages that “delay” climate action.

The “narrative playbook” of the disinformation analysed consisted of “exploiting the cost of living crisis and misleading greenhouse gas concerns”, casting doubt on the reliability of clean technologies and advocating the use of fossil fuels as “necessary and reliable” energies, among other techniques.

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“This research shows that climate misinformation is not going away and, on the contrary, is getting worse,” Erika Seiber, a spokesperson for the issue at US Friends of the Earth, said in a statement.

“Until governments hold social media and advertising companies accountable, and until companies hold professional disinformers accountable, crucial negotiations on the climate crisis will be at risk,” she said.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has spoken out against this phenomenon on several occasions, and did so again on Wednesday at the Davos Economic Forum, when he recalled that fossil fuel producers – referring to oil company ExxonMobil – “were fully aware in the 1970s that their main product contributed to turning the planet into an oven”.

Lusa

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