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What Role Can Digital Influencers Play in the Fight Against Climate Change?

What Role Can Digital Influencers Play in the Fight Against Climate Change?

  • Vicente Bento • Managing Partner, Insite

In today’s digital age, influencers play a fundamental role in creating opinions, attitudes and behaviours in various sectors, standing out as agents of cultural and social change.

The influence of these individuals already transcends geographical borders and reaches audiences all over the world. Whether in entertainment, culture, fashion or leisure, these people exert a significant influence on their followers and can catalyse important discussions and inspire concrete action. Take Greta Thunberg, a Swedish climate activist who rose to global prominence by leading the Fridays for Future student movement. The role of some of these digital influencers in the decisions of the Climate Summits organised by the United Nations has been very important, as they can amplify the discussions and results of these events, making them accessible and understandable to a wider audience.

At the most recent COP held in Dubai in December 2023, when all seemed lost and there was no sign of a real commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in the last few days the countries present declared their intention to abandon “fossil fuels” and make a Just Energy Transition in order to achieve the climate objectives set out in the Paris Agreement. It may not have all been the work of influencers, but there’s no doubt that the protests by environmental activists in the media during the two weeks of the summit helped to create pressure and make countries take responsible decisions for the future of the planet and all of us.

By translating complex information into accessible messages, influencers make it easier for a diverse audience to understand climate issues. Whether explaining the impacts of political decisions on carbon emissions or highlighting the importance of the targets set during summits, they help build a knowledge base that encourages individual and collective action. Through their communication channels, they can create a sense of urgency and encourage civic participation and support for effective measures to combat climate change.

By collaborating with each other and with environmental organisations, digital influencers can create powerful synergies to amplify their messages. Creating joint campaigns and promoting environmental awareness actions can make a significant impact on the community

In addition to disseminating information, digital influencers have the ability to put pressure on leaders and governments to implement more robust and concrete climate measures and actions. It should be noted that it was the first time in 30 years of climate negotiations that the term “abandon fossil fuels” appeared in the final report of a COP, marking the beginning of the end of an era.

However, it wasn’t all good news at COP 28. Opinions were divided. Oil-producing countries fought against the option of “phasing out fossil fuels” that appeared in previous versions of the report to be published, while environmental activists defended the inclusion of this text in the final document, as well as the need to make it clearer to the public how the world is going to finance this huge operation that consists of switching from fossil fuels to clean energy.

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In this sense, the transparency and authenticity of influencers are essential for enlightening the people who follow them. It is therefore important that when they support specific decisions, they do so in an informed manner, avoiding superficial discourse that could undermine the credibility of the environmental cause. Integrity is crucial to maintaining public trust and ensuring that the message about the urgency of climate change is taken seriously.

By collaborating with each other and with environmental organisations, digital influencers can create powerful synergies to amplify their messages. Creating joint campaigns, promoting environmental awareness actions can have a significant impact on the community. Joining forces demonstrates collective strength in the search for global climate solutions.

In conclusion, digital influencers play a multifaceted and vital role in the fight against climate change and in supporting the decisions of the Climate Summits. Their ability to educate, mobilise, push for concrete action and promote practical change makes them key catalysts in the search for a more sustainable future for all. Partnership between influencers, organisations and world leaders is essential for tackling global climate challenges effectively and collaboratively. All these players turning their backs on each other is not good for anyone. Here’s to COP 29 in Azerbaijan!

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