The company also said it will no longer allow monetization of content containing bogus climate change claims, and that the new policy will also apply to Youtube, possibly as part of a larger effort to curb the spread of disinformation.
The move, announced in a corporate blog post Thursday night, comes amid mounting public pressure on the private sector to take action on climate change.
It also comes in the wake of a recent report a group of United Nations experts – UN Secretary-General António Guterres called it a “red code for humanity” – which warned of dire consequences if immediate action were not not taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“Advertisers just don’t want their ads to appear alongside this content,” the blog said. “And publishers and creators don’t want ads promoting these claims to appear on their pages or videos.”
The new monetization policy for YouTube advertisers, publishers and creators “will ban ads and monetization of content that contradict the well-established scientific consensus on the existence and causes of climate change,” the blog adds.
This includes content that refers to climate change as a hoax or scam, claims that deny that long-term trends show the global climate is warming, and claims that deny that greenhouse gas emissions or l human activity contributes to climate change, according to the company. .
“When evaluating content against this new policy, we will carefully consider the context in which claims are made, differentiating between content that states a false claim as a fact, versus content that reports or discusses this allegation, ”the blog added. “We will also continue to allow advertising and monetization on other climate-related topics, including public debates on climate policy, the varying impacts of climate change, new research and more.”
Google said it consulted with experts who contributed to the assessment reports of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change when creating the new policy.
Consumers and shareholders have put more pressure on companies to tackle climate change as scientists and activists sound the alarm bells. “Industry” counted for a whopping 23% of greenhouse gas emissions in 2019, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, behind only transportation (29%) and power generation (25%) – data according to many advocates underscores the need for large-scale changes in the industry rather than the responsibility to tackle climate change on individuals.
Climate activists have welcomed Google’s new policy, but stressed that more remains to be done.
“Good news but far from good enough,” Greenpeace said in a Tweet in response to the news from Google. “It’s time to take the mike off the big polluters and their nifty propaganda, and move on to the real climate action we desperately need.”