Google’s new policy prohibits ads for, and monetization of, climate change denial

Yesterday, Google announced a new monetization policy for Google advertisers, publishers and YouTube creators that will “prohibit ads for, and monetization of, content that contradicts well-established scientific consensus around the existence and causes of climate change.” The policy, developed in partnership with the Conscious Advertising Network (CAN), includes content referring to climate change as a hoax or a scam, claims denying that long-term trends show the global climate is warming, and claims denying that greenhouse gas emissions or human activity contribute to climate change.

At CAN, we are immensely proud to partner with Google on the development of this policy. It means that, for the first time, climate misinformation that undermines the existence of climate change or the unequivocal human influence on climate change, will not be monetised through advertising.

Climate change is the defining challenge of humanity. Misinformation plays a huge part in holding back progress, so this action from Google matters, particularly as it will apply to all of Google’s advertising products. It sends a strong signal to all big tech companies that they must do more to stop climate misinformation, especially before COP26.

At CAN, our aim is ethics by design across the advertising eco-system. This policy is exactly the type of outcome that we work towards — one that joins up the dots from advertising to content that causes societal harm, and can be replicated for other platforms and human rights issues. We look forward to making more changes and deepening the partnership to confront societal challenges that affect us all.

Jacob Dubbins and Harriet Kingaby, co-founders of CAN.

The Conscious Advertising Network is a voluntary coalition of over 70 organisations on a mission to stop advertising abuse.