Despite COP26 taking place in less than a week and being hailed as the world’s ‘last best hope’ climate summit, it seems we are more focused on fictional threats than the real danger posed by climate change.
This is according to a new study of more than 5.2 million online data points, conducted via Brandwatch and commissioned by global renewable energy company BayWa r.e. The study shows that Squid Game has received over ten times more mentions than COP in the past 30 days.
Matthias Taft, CEO of BayWa r.e. comments: “It’s a natural instinct to distract ourselves from uncomfortable thoughts and scary realities, but time is rapidly running out if we are to prevent the most catastrophic effects of climate change – this is truly the decade that matters.”
Even though Netflix’s latest hit show is dominating online conversation, the significance of COP26 in determining the planet’s future is far from lost on social media audiences.
The study shows that COP26 is the most talked-about climate change conference ever, with more than double the previous total for COP25.
Taft added: “It’s encouraging to see this increased urgency reflected in the conversations around COP26 and the large increase in online discussions this year. However, it’s crucial words become action after world leaders leave Glasgow. We must make sure governments, businesses and we as individuals carry through our climate commitments and make the changes the world desperately needs.
Other findings include:
- The UK has topped the table as the country talking most about COP26 with over 640K mentions – more than three times the mentions of the next nation on the list, the United States of America
- Executives continue to make up the largest percentage of spokespeople for the conference, when analysing professions discussing COP26 most online, followed by teachers and lecturers
- Pressure is on world leaders to make a stand, with Boris Johnson’s name featuring heavily, with close to 400,000 online mentions linked to COP26; this is over 20 times more mentions than Greta Thunberg in relation to COP26, at just over 15,000
- US presidents have created a lot of conversation in the past; however, this year US President Joe Biden, and former US President Donald Trump, were only mentioned 105,000 times
- A short-term crisis will supersede a long-term one, as online mentions for the fuel crisis were six times higher than COP26-related mentions throughout September
- Mentions in the tones of disgust and fear around climate change are three times higher during COP26 discussions, compared to COP25
“An attitude shift is central to this: we need to stop seeing climate action and sustainable choices as long-term goals that could restrict our previous freedoms, but rather as urgent changes that create positive impact for our society and economy. This is a no-regrets opportunity for a secure and sustainable future for our planet,” concluded Taft.