Climate and environment
The Climate and Environment is a new area of focus for Wikimedia UK. It recognises the accelerating climate emergency and the importance of Wikimedia’s role in providing up-to-date, accurate and unbiased information about the impact of climate change on our planet and people. This strategic theme resonates with a number of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
As a relatively new programmatic area for us, we are exploring different approaches, models, partnerships and success criteria for this work. We recognise the importance of climate justice, and are committed to working with and for the communities that are most affected by and vulnerable to climate change within the development of this programme.
We also believe that to act on climate change, citizens need to have a sense of agency, responsibility, and political impact. Engaging in Wikimedia activities, such as participating in editathons focused on climate information, can foster this mindset, leading to citizen action.
Climate information on wiki
At present there are large gaps in information about climate change on Wikipedia, and while we’re glad there’s plenty of content for the US and Europe, there needs to be more data from other regions. What’s more, it’s clear with only a quick search that information about policy and technology is often out of date. These factors convey a greater sense of uncertainty around climate data than is warranted by recent developments.
Wikipedia is the ideal platform for unbiased, cited climate information, as it already has a global audience of billions. It exists in over 300 languages and has an established, dedicated volunteer editing community of nearly 300,000 editors and contributors. At Wikimedia UK, we believe that addressing Wikipedia’s gaps will better inform people about climate action. We bought Climate and Environment into our 2022-25 Strategic themes to ensure a core focus on addressing the gaps.
We are also mindful that Wikimedia contributes to climate change both in terms of the carbon emissions generated by our online presence, and the carbon footprint of the network of staff, volunteers and affiliated organisations that make up the global movement.
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