Climate Misinformation Grant Program

The International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) at the Poynter Institute in partnership with Facebook is pleased to announce the launch of the Climate Misinformation Grant Program, an initiative to support organizations working to combat false and misleading information about climate change. Up to $800,000 will be awarded, with individual grant amounts ranging up to $100,000.

Applications close November 26th, 2021.

The International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) at the Poynter Institute will partner with Facebook to distribute $800,000 in grant support to fact-checkers, climate organizations, and solution providers working to combat false and misleading information about climate change.

To see the IFCN verified signatories list please click here.

Overview:

The Climate Misinformation Grant program is an initiative to support organizations working to combat climate misinformation.  Organizations around the world are encouraged to apply. The grant is structured to allow for applicant organizations with diverse backgrounds to participate in collaborative partnerships between fact-checkers, climate experts, and other organizations. 

Eligibility criteria are detailed below. Evaluation and final selection of applicant organizations will be conducted by an independent panel of judges with domain expertise in climate change.

If you have any questions regarding the application process please feel free to reach out to factchecknet@poynter.org

Eligibility Criteria 

Applicants for the Climate Misinformation Grant Program may fall into one of four categories and may apply in partnership with applicants from other categories as described below.

  • Each application needs to have one primary applicant. The primary applicant can invite partner organizations to collaborate in the application form by following the instructions provided in the Submittable application portal. 
  • Primary applicants are required to provide counter-signed agreements with the partnering organization(s) by following the instructions provided in the Submittable application portal. 

Category A: [IFCN verified signatories]

  • International Fact-Checking Network’s verified signatories.
  • If applying as a sole candidate, they must have a demonstrated track record in detecting and/or refuting climate misinformation.
  • Category A applicants may partner with organizations listed in the categories below if they do not have prior experience in detecting and/or refuting climate misinformation 

Category B:  [Climate orgs]

  • Entities who have a demonstrated track record of impactful work in climate change. This can include advocacy organizations, media companies, or academic institutions.
  • Category B applicants will be REQUIRED to partner with a verified signatory to IFCN’s Code of Principles (Category A), and may also partner with Category C and Category D applicants

Category C: [Solution Providers]

  • Solution providers who propose automated and replicable mechanisms to detect and/or refute misinformation claims accurately, reliably, efficiently, and at scale. 
  • Category C applicants will be REQUIRED to partner with a Category A applicant AND a Category B applicant, and may also partner with a Category D applicant

Category D: [Non-IFCN signatory Fact-Checkers]

  • Other fact-checking or media organizations that have a demonstrated track record of detecting and/or refuting climate-related misinformation.
  • Category D applicants will be REQUIRED to partner with a verified signatory to IFCN’s Code of Principles (Category A applicant) and may also partner with Category B and Category C applicants

Key dates

September 16, 2021
Applications open

November 26th, 2021
Applications close

TBA
Winners Announcement

Selection Committee

The selection committee will select projects based on a number of criteria. (See Below) 

Grant recipients will have up to one year from the time they receive their awards to complete their projects and submit written results reported to the International Fact-Checking Network.

Karen Florini
Vice President Programs, Climate Central

About Karen

Karen Florini is Vice President for Programs at Climate Central. Founded in 2008, the group provides authoritative, science-based information to help the public and policymakers make sound decisions about climate and energy. At Climate Central, her roles include developing and implementing strategies that reach and move large U.S. and global audiences as well as key decision-makers. In addition, she leads the integration of Climate Central’s program efforts, and oversees the creation and distribution of the group’s products to the public and thought leaders.

From April 2015 to January 2017, Karen served as Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change at the U.S. Department of State. In that capacity, she helped lead the Global Climate Change Initiative, a whole-of-government mechanism for integrating climate change considerations into foreign assistance. She also led the State Department’s engagement with businesses, state and local governments, and civil society in the climate negotiations context. In addition, she headed the State Department’s portfolio on short-lived climate pollutants, which included overseeing U.S. participation in the multilateral Climate and Clean Air Coalition, co-chairing the Coalition’s Oil/Gas Methane Partnership, and chairing the Arctic Council’s Expert Group on Black Carbon and Methane.

Previously, Karen worked at Environmental Defense Fund, where among other responsibilities she was Managing Director for International Climate and led the Environmental Health Program. Her combined 30-plus years of service on non-profit boards included 18 years as a Trustee of Oberlin College. She earned a bachelor’s degree with majors in biology and environmental policy at Oberlin, and a J.D. at Harvard Law School, where she was Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Environmental Law Review.

John Cook Ph.D

Research Fellow Climate Change Communication Research Hub at Monash University.

About John

John Cook is a postdoctoral research fellow with the Climate Change Communication Research Hub at Monash University. His research focus is understanding and countering misinformation about climate change, with an emphasis on using critical thinking to build resilience. He obtained his PhD at the University of Western Australia, studying the cognitive psychology of climate science denial. In 2007, he founded Skeptical Science, a website that won the 2011 Australia Museum Eureka Prize for the Advancement of Climate Change Knowledge and 2016 National Center for Science Education Friend of the Planet Award. In 2013, he published a paper quantifying the 97% scientific consensus on climate change which was highlighted by President Obama and UK Prime Minister David Cameron. In 2015 at the Universitty of Queensland, he led the development of a Massive Open Online Course on climate science denial, that has received 40,000+ enrollments from over 185 countries. He co-authored the college textbooks Climate Change: Examining the Facts and Climate Change Science: A Modern Synthesis, as well as the book Climate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand. In 2020, he published the book Cranky Uncle vs. Climate Change applying critical thinking, inoculation research, and cartoons to engage and educate readers about climate misinformation. He also developed the Cranky Uncle game with the U.S. creative agency Autonomy, combining critical thinking, cartoons, and gamification to build players’ resilience against misinformation. He has coauthored a number of handbooks summarising communication best-practices such as The Debunking Handbook and Conspiracy Theory Handbook.

Sander van der Linden Ph.D.

Professor of Social Psychology in Society & Director of the Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab in the Department of Psychology at University of Cambridge

About Sander

Sander van der Linden, Ph.D., is Professor of Social Psychology in Society and Director of the Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge. He has won numerous awards for his research on human judgment, communication, and decision-making, especially in the context of climate change, including the Rising Star Award from the Association for Psychological Science (APS), the Sage Early Career Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP), and the Frank Prize in Public Interest Research from the University of Florida. He co-designed the award-winning fake news game Bad News, which has been played by millions of people around the world and frequently advises governments and social media companies on how to fight misinformation. His research is regularly featured in outlets such as the New York Times, NPR, Rolling Stone, and the BBC and he has been described by WIRED magazine as one of “15 top thinkers” and by Fast Company as one “four heroes who are defending digital democracy online”. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Environmental Psychology and serves on the American Psychological Association (APA)’s Task Force on Climate Change. Before joining Cambridge, he held academic positions at Princeton, Yale, and the LSE.

Anthony Leiserowitz Ph.D

Founder and Director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication & Senior Research Scientist at the Yale School of the Environment

About Anthony

Anthony Leiserowitz, Ph.D. is the founder and Director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and a Senior Research Scientist at the Yale School of the Environment. He is an expert on public climate change and environmental beliefs, attitudes, policy preferences, and behavior, and the psychological, cultural, and political factors that shape them. He conducts research at the global, national, and local scales, including many surveys of the American public. He conducted the first global study of public values, attitudes, and behaviors regarding sustainable development and has published more than 200 scientific articles, chapters, and reports. He has served as a contributing author, panel member, advisor or consultant to diverse organizations including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (AR6 Report), the National Academy of Sciences (America’s Climate Choices Report), the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, the Harvard Kennedy School, the United Nations Development Program, the Gallup World Poll, and the World Economic Forum, among others. He is a recipient of the Friend of the Planet Award from the National Center for Science Education, the Mitofsky Innovator Award from the American Association of Public Opinion Research, and the Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication from Climate One. He is also the host of Climate Connections, a radio program broadcast each day on more than 680 stations and frequencies nationwide.

Holger Berg
Vice Director Division Circular Economy
Wuppertal Institute

About Holger

Dr Holger Berg is Co-Head of the Digital Transformation Research Unit and Vice Director Circular Economy at the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy. His research interests focus on the opportunities and influences of the digital transformation on sustainable development, particularly with regard to industrial transformation. He analyzes these topics from the perspective of ecological-business benefits, technological implementation and political design. He is the author of several studies on the connection between digitalisation and sustainability with a focus on the circular economy. As an expert, he supports various national and international organisations and advises governments and the EU on issues of digital transformation and the circular economy. 

Prof. Chukwumerije Okereke
Director of the Centre for Climate Change and Development at Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike

About Chukwumerije

Professor Chukwumerije Okereke is the Director of the Centre for Climate Change and Development at Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike and a Visiting Professor at the Universities of Reading and  Oxford, UK respectively.  He is a globally recognized leading scholar on global climate governance and international development with expertise in climate justice, national green growth transition in Africa, climate adaptation, business climate strategies, environmental policy, advising governments, corporates, and international institutions (e.g. United Nations, African Union).

 

Professor Okereke was previously the Co-Director of the Center for Climate and Justice and also the GPB1.05 million Reading University Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarship Programme.  He was also Director of the Center for Climate Change and Development at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at the University of Oxford from 2009 to 2011.

 

Over the last 20 years, Professor Okereke has maintained an extensive high-impact engagement with national governments, businesses, and NGOs in Africa and led on several high-profile international projects on climate change policy, mainstreaming, and green economy transition in Africa including the UNDP funded Africa Adaptation Initiative (AAI) commissioned by the Committee of African Heads of State on Climate Change (CAHOSCC), the Analysis of the Adaptation Components in Africa’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDCs) commissioned by the African Development Bank, the Analysis of the Influence of Africa in global climate negotiations funded by the Economic Commission of Africa, the Governing Inclusive Green Growth in Africa project funded by the UK Global Challenges Research Fund,  and the Rwandan Green Growth and Climate Resilience Project, which was the first-ever national low-carbon plan in Africa.

 

Professor Okereke is the Coordinating Lead Author of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report. He has served as Lead Author on other major global scientific assessment projects including the IPCC Special Report on 1.5degree global warming and the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC; the United Nations Environment Programme’s Urbanization, Biodiversity, and Ecosystem Services Assessment.  Professor Okereke is the Green Growth expert in the team that is undertaking the technology needs assessment for the government of Cameroon on behalf of the United Nations Industrial Organization and the UNFCCC. Professor Okereke is a member of the Steering Committee of the Earths Systems Governance Project and a leading member of the Global Earth Commission’s Safe and Just Transformation Working Group. Professor Okereke is a member of the editorial board of several highly reputed journals in the field including, Global Environmental Politics, Business and Sustainable Development, Earth Systems Governance, and  International Studies Review.

Professor Okereke has published widely in the field, given a countless number of keynote speeches, and been interviewed by leading media houses in the world including BBC News, BBC World Services, France24, China Global Television Network, Channels TV, AriseTV, and several others.

Selection criteria

The selection committee will review projects against the following criteria:

  1. Applicants projects should be focused on priority goals, such as:
    1. Strengthening access, understanding, and acceptance of authoritative climate science information
    2. Tailoring efforts to combat misinformation to actor, behavioral, and content trends that are unique to climate change
    3. Building solutions targeted to users that are vulnerable to the effects of climate change or are disproportionately exposed to climate misinformation
    4. Forging new, self-sustaining partnerships between fact-checking organizations and climate change experts
  2. Does the project have the ability to scale across geographic regions, languages, etc?
  3. Does the project have the potential of reducing climate misinformation, improving the quality of the public debate, and/or reaching a wider/new audience?
  4. Is the requested budget in accordance with the goals and scope of the project and has the potential to be fully completed and implemented in time and form?
  5. Does the application reflect a strong actionable plan to achieve the intended goals of the project?

Terms and conditions

This grant is subject to Terms and Conditions, including the following restrictions and requirements:

  • Applications will be accepted from Sept 16- Oct 31, 2021, at 11:59 pm ET
  • Grant recipients will be notified by Dec 15, 2021 
  • Applicants must meet the eligibility requirements outlined in section A for their corresponding applicant category 
  • All evaluation criteria will be weighted equally. See a list of criteria outlined in the corresponding section.
  • All candidates must provide the application criteria outlined in the corresponding section
  • Climate Misinformation Grant amounts will range up to $100,000 and be determined at Program Entities’ sole discretion. 
  • The recipients will have 12 months to develop and launch their projects from the date grants are awarded
  • A representative for each grant recipient must commit to making a presentation about the project at the Global Fact 8 conference, currently scheduled in June 2022 in Oslo.
  • Each grant recipient is expected to schedule three quarterly assessment sessions with an adviser from the selection committee and/or a member of the IFCN staff.
  • Each grant recipient must provide IFCN with two short narrative reports and two financial reports: one of each at the midpoint of the project (about three months in) and one of each after the end of the 6-month project term. These documents will be made publicly available.
  • The awarded amount will be delivered to the applicable grant recipient in two different payments: 50% at the beginning of the project term and the remaining 50% after the midterm narrative and financial reports are approved. (If your project requires a different distribution, please inform.)
  • Poynter Institute for Media Studies, Inc. and Facebook (directly and/or through a third party (e.g., Submittable) may collect personally identifiable information to perform certain compliance checks and sanctions screenings.
  • National or legal residents of a jurisdiction where the laws of the United States or local law prohibits participating or receiving benefits in connection with a program such as this one or in which the United States has embargoed goods or services are not eligible to participate (including, without limitation, Crimea, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria and any other area or jurisdiction designated by the United States Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control).
  • Use of any Grant amount must comply with all applicable explicit or implicit terms and conditions or policies applicable for platforms, applications, software, tools, or other resources used by the fund’s recipient if any. Funds recipient must also comply with Facebook’s Privacy Principles available at https://www.facebook.com/about/basics/privacyprinciples, as well as any ethical standards applicable to the proposed project, as determined in Facebook and IFCN’s sole discretion. As such, each Applicant must follow the spirit of such terms and conditions, principles, and policies; and any attempt to subvert or to use a workaround of such terms and conditions or policies may, in Facebook and IFCN’s sole discretion, result in forfeiture of any Grant amounts awarded or disqualification from this Program
  • Grant applicants are obligated to comply with all applicable laws and any additional compliance language requested in writing by Facebook (email acceptable). 
  • Grant applicants are obligated to supply Facebook and/or Partner, as applicable, with any information reasonably requested in order to perform necessary due diligence and background checks.
  • The Grant Recipient must agree not to use the funds provided in connection with the Program directly or indirectly, in any manner that would violate applicable laws, including, without limitation, in any manner that would constitute bribery, an illegal kickback, an illegal campaign contribution, or any other violation of applicable anti-corruption, political activity, economic sanctions, or other laws. The funds will not be used by the organization in any event to: (A) carry on propaganda or otherwise attempt to influence specific legislation; (B) influence the outcome of any specific public election or to carry on, directly or indirectly, any voter registration drive; or (C) utilize the Funds in a manner, not in furtherance of the purposes enumerated under 170(c)(2)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • The grant program is subject to full Terms and Conditions are available here