Climate

Building Tools That Help Communities Take Action Against Climate Change

November 4, 2022
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Addressing climate change requires a whole-of-society approach, and the communities people belong to have an important role to play. Hundreds of thousands of Facebook Groups already use our products to discuss and take action on climate change, and we’re excited to work with partners to test new tools to empower any community on Facebook to make an impact. 

How People Feel About Climate Change 

We recently conducted our largest-ever global survey in partnership with the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication to understand public views toward climate change, and the results painted a picture of deep concern. In almost every country, most people said they saw climate change as a threat over the next two decades and expressed a desire to see meaningful action taken to combat it. However, fewer people said they regularly hear about climate change in their daily lives. 

When it comes to taking climate action, most people don’t know what to do or even where to start. 

Across six countries surveyed, recycling and reducing single-use plastic were believed to be the most effective actions to address climate change, with 84%-87% of respondents indicating these actions were very or somewhat effective, respectively. Actions like installing heat pumps, eating less meat, and talking to friends and family were believed to be less effective at addressing climate change with 55%-63% of respondents indicating these actions are effective.

Barriers to Taking Climate Action 

We asked people what barriers were preventing them from taking action against climate change — like reducing food waste, taking public transportation and choosing second-hand products. The barriers people most commonly reported for these actions were not believing their actions would make a difference, not having the motivation and not knowing how to take the action.

We believe that working together as a community can help address these barriers to taking climate action. With more than one billion active Facebook Communities, Meta has a role to play in empowering people to take meaningful action.

Power in Numbers 

Every day across our technologies, we see the power that’s harnessed when groups come together for a collective purpose. They inspire and motivate each other, take action, hold each other accountable and create impactful change. 

Globally, more than 40 million people are part of at least one of the 24,000 Facebook groups dedicated to the discovery, protection and appreciation of the earth and our environment. Take, for example, members of Electrify Everything, a community committed to electrifying their homes. By actively sharing learnings and best practices, they are tapping into the power of social motivation, keeping each other accountable and making electrification more attainable for everyone. Pip Pip Yalah is a Facebook community committed to traveling more sustainably by connecting drivers and passengers in Morocco to carpool together. 

Actions at scale can have a massive impact on climate change. That’s why we’re continuing to test and invest in building tools that help reduce barriers to taking action.

Empowering Communities to Take Action Through Climate Pledges

Climate Pledges is a new feature that we’re testing within Facebook Groups globally to help reduce the barriers to taking climate action. The feature harnesses the power of community and enables meaningful conversations around climate solutions through the lens of the communities people care about.  

Developed with inputs from the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and UN Act Now, Climate Pledges surfaces nine expert-backed solutions to help people understand the most impactful actions they can take within their communities. The solutions include: switching to renewable energy, traveling thoughtfully, throwing away less food, embracing a plant-rich diet, rethinking your transportation, supporting carbon neutral sinks, choosing eco-friendly products, speaking up and saving energy at home.

Infographic with mobile phone viewing climate pledge on Facebook group

Climate Pledges are activated by admins within Facebook Groups who select the solutions most relevant to their communities. Admins invite group members to participate, provide support, offer relevant local tips and encourage conversation about the solutions. For example, a solar panel group admin may choose to activate the “Switch to renewable energy” and “Save energy at home” pledges. Or, a local neighborhood group admin may choose to activate the “Choose eco-friendly products” pledge and encourage group members to switch to products that are less harmful to the environment.

We also know that meaningful conversations can help influence change within families, friend groups, and broader communities — that’s why Climate Pledges are designed to spark solutions-based conversations. Group members can easily access practical, action-based information that can be shared back with their communities to spark discussion. Group members can also discover relevant content, including Reels, from across Facebook which they can then localize to their communities.

By tapping into the power of community, surfacing actionable solutions and enabling meaningful conversations, Climate Pledges will help remove barriers to taking climate action. 

Climate Creators Who Drive Meaningful Action

We’ve partnered with several climate creators to develop how-to Reels that localize Climate Pledges and show how easy taking climate action can be. These practical Reels will help connect communities to local content and can be used to spark conversations about climate solutions and inspire action within groups. 

Complex Problems Require Collective Solutions 

As a company that connects more than three billion people every month across our apps, Meta has an essential role in connecting people with accurate climate information and expert-backed climate solutions. 

In 2020, we launched the Climate Science Center as a one-stop resource to connect people on Facebook with science-based news, approachable information and actionable resources from the world’s leading climate organizations. The center is now available in more than 165 countries and has been visited more than 250 million times. We are expanding our efforts to build tools that empower people and communities to take meaningful action at scale. 

But we can’t do it alone. When it comes to combating climate change, we need to work together. We’re continuing to partner with climate experts, organizations, businesses and communities to collectively scale our impact and move toward meaningful action. 

To learn more about how Meta is taking climate action, please visit https://sustainability.fb.com/climate/

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