By: Rachel Muller-Heyndyk
October 26 2021
There is no evidence that mass surveillance will take place as the government plans to invest in green technologies.
There is no evidence that mass surveillance will take place as the government plans to invest in green technologies.Ahead of the U.N. Climate Change Conference, otherwise known as COP26, conspiracy theorists are sharing misleading and false posts on social media to cast doubt over efforts to reduce carbon emissions. In a video on the blog hugotalks.com, the narrator states that Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Bill Gates are using climate change policies as a means to implement a "digital control grid" that will supposedly measure human activity. The video has been viewed almost 3,000 times in the past 24 hours (as of October 21, 2021). It is not uncommon for climate denialists and skeptics to state that there is an ulterior motive to climate-friendly policy, and there is no evidence that Johnson and Gates are planning to do this. On Tuesday, October 19 during a talk at the Science Museum in London, Gates and Johnson announced that they would invest £400 million in green technologies. The Guardian added that carbon capture and storage, long-term battery life, jet zero (zero-carbon aviation), and green hydrogen technology were all on the table. The event had reportedly been planned to attract investors from large firms, such as banking groups JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs. There is not yet any information detailing exactly how this funding will be used. A government press release states that the £400 million is part of the government's £1 billion Net Zero Investment portfolio. Its page details a ten-point plan which includes offshore wind, hydrogen, homes, and disruptive technologies. These are all broad terms. There is no mention of plans to install technologies to monitor households' energy use or to track their behavior. Like other conspiracy theorists, climate skeptics often state that governments and powerful figures are using fears over climate change as a means to control people. The threat of climate change to our environment and daily lives has been well documented by the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), who said that "unless there are immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, limiting warming to close to 1.5°C or even 2°C will be beyond reach." There is no evidence that Gates and Johnson will introduce mass surveillance technologies, and such claims may distract from the urgent need to tackle climate change.