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How social media drives the climate agenda: COP27 and the influence of Twitter

Remember that our fossil-fuel addiction costs lives and damages physical and mental health.

Social media. — © AFP
Social media. — © AFP

The 27th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP27) is about to begin, hosted by the government of the Arab Republic of Egypt (running between November 6th and 18th, 2022). The focus is in bringing together the United Nations, businesses, the scientific community, indigenous and local communities and civil society to jointly enhance and accelerate the implementation of climate action and follow up on the collective commitments and pledges made at COP26.

In the run-up to the conference, it is notable that Twitter influencer conversations have started piling up and as a result there has been a 150 percent growth around the term  ‘COP27’ (when September 2022 is compared with October 2022). This is based on data compiled by the Social Media Analytics Platform of GlobalData.

The highest rise in Twitter influencer conversations was recorded in the last week of October, when the latest report of UN Climate Change stated that the global carbon dioxide emissions are expected to increase by 10.6 percent by 2030 (as baselined on 2010 levels).  

Another surge in influencer conversations was witnessed in the first week of October, when the sponsorship of The Coca-Cola Company for COP27 event faced Twitter influencers’ backlash. A few environmental activists have slammed the company for greenwashing and demanded the UNFCCC to remove the company from sponsorship.

For example, Emma Priestland, a coordinator for Break Free From Plastic, a global alliance of organisations and individuals, said: “Coca-Cola sponsoring the Cop27 is pure ‘greenwash’. Coca-Cola is one of the world’s biggest users of plastic.”

In terms of the leading Twitter influencers and the key role they have played in bringing COP27 to public attention, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General at World Health Organization with a global score of 89, has emerged as the top voice on Twitter around COP27.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General at World Health Organization:

“As we prepare for #COP27, remember that our fossil-fuel addiction costs lives & damages physical & mental health, esp. of young people. We must invest in more mental health support for communities dealing with climate-related hazards. https://bit.ly/3xeAHkF #WorldMentalHealthDay”

Other leading voices are Ketan Joshi, a freelance writer on climate and energy returns to the Coca-Cola issue:

“Should serve as a very glaring warning to any company gearing up their greenwashing machine for COP27: you are being watched. And you are going to face consequences, if you lie about yourselves.”

Javier Blas, Energy and commodities columnist at Bloomberg:

“It’s just over a month for #COP27, and Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser, tongue in cheek, has a particular view about the energy transition: “If you think about it, we are transitioning to coal” (According to the @IEA, global coal demand will rise to a fresh all-time high in 2023)”

In addition, other influential environmental commentator are: Peter Kalmus, Climate Scientist at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory; and Mike Hudemand, Director of Communications at Canopy Planet.

The information relating to Twitter influencers has been provided to Digital Journal by Smitarani Tripathy, Social Media Analyst at GlobalData.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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