24 organizations and academics call on Google to demonetize and stop amplifying climate denial content

Posted on April 22, 2024 in Press releases.

  • 24 climate groups and academics, including Friends of the Earth, Professor Sander van der Linden, and Kairos Fellows, have criticized Google’s failure to effectively implement its own policies against climate denialism. 
  • The group calls on Google to extend its climate disinformation policy, demonetize and stop amplifying climate denial content, and collaborate with NGOs and academic experts to update its policies. 
  • Previous research by the Center for Countering Digital Hate has shown how YouTube has allowed ‘New Denial’ narrative to flourish on the platform that undermines the effectiveness of climate solutions, downplays the impact of climate change, and attacks climate scientists and activists.  

WASHINGTON, DC, April 22, 2024 – Google has repeatedly committed itself to fighting climate change, including by limiting the spread of climate denialism on its platforms. But research by the Center for Countering Digital Hate shows these promises are not backed up with action.  

Today, Earth Day, 24 organizations and academics have called on Google to take urgent action and commit to: 

  • Extend its existing climate disinformation policy to explicitly encompass assertions which fall under categories of ‘new climate denial’, including claims that “climate solutions won’t work” and that the “impacts of global warming are beneficial or harmless” contradict the scientific consensus. This includes assertions that: 
  • Deny the efficacy of proven clean energy technologies. 
  • The earth’s climate has low sensitivity to global warming  
  • That global warming is beneficial to ecosystems  
  • Deny the role of CO2 in warming the planet 
  • Demonetize and commit to not amplify climate denial content  
  • Collaborate with NGOs and academic experts to continuously update policies to effectively combat the evolving landscape of climate denial, including the emergence of new denial narratives. 

Imran Ahmed, CEO and Founder of the Center for Countering Digital Hate said: 

“New, cynical climate denial narratives that cast shade on solutions, climate science and scientists, pose an evolving threat to action on climate change. Most cynical and telling of all is the way opponents to action on climate change have pivoted from claiming climate change isn’t real to claiming climate change is real, but that we have no hope of averting it. 

“It’s time Google stops profiting from, and amplifying, conspiracy theories. They have created a profitable market for nonsense about the climate by rewarding sticky conspiracy theories that attract anger and opposition with engagement-driven amplification and advertising revenue-sharing. 

“For too long Google has claimed to be green while being a key vector and funder of climate disinformation in our society. It’s time they put their money where their mouth is and stopped using their platform to promote disinformation, and their ad clients’ money to reward the cynical liars who use every false narrative under the sun to try to stop us from acting to deal with our climate emergency.”