Rumores Renovables: New Report Exposes Global Spanish Climate Disinformation Network

WASHINGTON – Today, GreenLatinos and Friends of the Earth released a report (Spanish version here) produced by the network research firm Graphika that uncovers alarming anti-renewable energy narratives targeting Spanish-speaking communities online. This report builds upon a 2022 report that first identified the online networks spreading climate disinformation to these communities. This year’s analysis specifically mapped accounts engaging with anti-renewables content and reaffirmed earlier findings that 1) most content originates in Spain, 2) that climate disinformation is embedded in broader right-wing culture narratives, and 3) proliferation of disinformation occurs alongside recent extreme weather events.

Rumores Renovables will be featured at an in-person panel discussion hosted by GreenLatinos on September 28th at 12:30pm EST, at the TelevisaUnivision building in Washington D.C.. The panel features disinformation researchers and policy experts who will weigh in on how this new study relates to their current research.

Rumores Renovables further proves that climate disinformation is a problem that transcends languages,” said Edder-Diaz Martinez, Communications Manager at GreenLatinos, “A small, radical minority is spreading lies in vulnerable communities, capitalizing on extreme weather events to sow doubt in renewable energy, a critical energy source that can save us from future climate disasters. Social media companies must stop treating Spanish speaking communities as second-class citizens and start to enforce stronger community standards to reduce this targeted disinformation.”

The report’s top findings include:

  • While much climate disinformation spread originates in English and is translated to Spanish, new insights demonstrate that compared to 2022 disinformation is now also created in Spanish, translated and then goes viral in English.

  • Anti-renewable narratives are dominated by right-leaning accounts originating in Spain, with ties to the national conservative party VOX.

  • False narratives peak during extreme weather events. As the world sees a rise in extreme weather events exacerbated by climate change, we can expect to see a rise in climate disinformation.

  • Climate disinformation discourse is often intertwined with other conspiracies, including those related to COVID and The Great Reset.

  • The most common narratives being spread include allegations that forest fires are intentionally set to clear land for renewable energy projects, renewable energies cause harm to animals (specifically whales), renewable technologies (especially solar power) pollute the environment, renewables are unreliable, and renewable energy projects only benefit the wealthy.

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