Home » UN ‘Verified Champions’ initiative combats climate mis and disinformation 

UN ‘Verified Champions’ initiative combats climate mis and disinformation 

by Madaline Dunn

To combat climate mis and disinformation, the United Nations, in collaboration with Purpose, has been running Verified for Climate – a global communications program. The initiative is supported by TikTok, Rockefeller Foundation, and Fortescue and aims to reach key audiences with accurate climate information, countering harmful narratives that block and delay a swift transition to renewable energy.

The initiative is led by a diverse network of climate experts dubbed the ‘Verified Champions,’ from across the UAE, Brazil, and Spain, including those directly affected by climate change. 

In the UAE, the ‘Verified Champions’ include:

  • Dr. Rahaf Ajaj, University Professor and Climate Change Researcher,
  • Marian Fletcher, Ocean Conservation and Sustainable Lifestyle Advocate,
  • Ayshka Najib, Climate Activist, MENA Lead at Youth Climate Justice Fund,
  • Habiba Abdulrahman, Eco-fashion Educator,
  • Manali Soprakar, Sustainability Educator/Influencer, and
  • Pallavi Santhapuram, Content Creator on sustainability, Eco-preneur, Podcaster.

    “Together, we’re confident we can help to turn the tide in the climate information narrative and power communications that spur action to secure a liveable future for the planet. There is no time to lose,” commented Melissa Fleming, UN Under Secretary General of Global Communications.

    The Verified Champions aim to counter climate mis and disinformation by educating viewers on climate change and enabling access to accurate information through original content. 

    As of April 2024, the campaign has garnered over 280 million impressions and over 800 thousand engagements through 160+ original TikTok videos full of climate stories, facts, and practical guidance.

    “As a sustainability advocate, I have strived to reach out to people with the benefits and urgency of living sustainably. When I got the opportunity to join this campaign, I had no hesitation or second thoughts about it. I was very happy to learn about this initiative to educate people on climate change. It is very fulfilling to contribute to this campaign and take this message forward to as many people as possible,” commented Santhapuram, a Verified Champion from the UAE.

    Helena Lersch, Vice President of Public Policy for Emerging Markets and Global Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at TikTok, added: “Through this initiative, we’re proud to partner with a team of experts to further inform and inspire our global community, bound by our shared goal of raising awareness around important climate topics and finding sustainable solutions.”

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