Facebook bolstered its commitment to the environment on Tuesday by announcing the launch of its Climate Science Information Center in the US, the UK, France and Germany and publicly backing the European Green Deal. The company also said it’s on course to meet its promise to support its global operations with 100% renewable energy and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 75% by the end of 2020.
The new Climate Science Information Center will serve as a separate and dedicated space to connect Facebook users to factual resources from the world’s leading climate organizations, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations Environment Programme, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Met Office and around 200 other partners.
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The center is modeled on Facebook’s covid-19 Information center, which the company says has directed more than 2 billion people to information from health authorities and resulted in 600 million people clicking through to learn more.
During a phone briefing with reporters ahead of Tuesday’s announcement, Facebook VP of Global Affairs and Communications Nick Clegg spoke about the importance of debunking misinformation about climate science on the platform, such as the rumors falsely linking activists to the wildfires in Oregon and Washington this weekend. But, he added, it’s equally important to ensure people have access to factually accurate resources.
“For a really healthy information ecosystem to develop, that relies on people being empowered with the right information,” he said. “A key priority now is to equip our community with accurate, science-based information so that people can make informed decisions and have the tools to take action.”
Facebook believes itself to be an important platform for bringing people to share information and ideas about more sustainable ways of living, as well organizing to take action. Facebook users have harnessed the platform to raise more the $80 million in support of environmental causes, Clegg said.
Clegg, who is a former member of the European Parliament as well as former UK deputy prime minister, also took the opportunity to speak about the company’s support for Europe’s Green Deal — an action plan designed to make the continent more sustainable and climate-neutral by 2050.
“As someone, of course, who spent a long time in European politics, I know that sustainability is rightly central to the EU’s and the European Commission’s agenda as a top priority for many governments across the continent, as it is for millions of European citizens,” he said.
Facebook said Tuesday it’s taking a holistic approach to tackling climate challenges, including building sustainable data centers, enabling carbon-removal technology for the wider industry and setting aggressive science-based targets for its own businesses. In addition to meeting its current climate goals, the company also pledged to reach net zero emissions for its value chain by 2030.