In 2019, the Guardian made a pledge in service of the planet. We declared that the escalating climate crisis was the defining issue of our lifetime, and that quality, trustworthy reporting on the environment was an important tool to confront it. We promised to provide journalism that shows leadership, urgency, authority and gives the climate emergency the sustained attention and prominence it demands.
We also vowed to practise what we preach, striving to green our operations as a global news organisation and achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030.
Every month, millions of you read our environmental reporting. Tens of thousands of you responded to our pledge last year, and we hope more of you will do the same today, as we update you on our progress over the past 12 months by setting out how we have tried to live up to our commitments.
- We will continue our longstanding record of powerful environmental reporting, which is known around the world for its quality and independence
We are publishing more environmental coverage than ever before, with exclusive after exclusive on the deadly links between Covid-19, environmental degradation, air pollution and human health. We published almost 3,000 pieces over the year, accessed by almost 100m unique browsers that collectively spent a total of 419 years reading our environmental coverage.
We’ve produced urgent, necessary reportage from major frontlines in the climate crisis – both the Arctic and Antarctic, the Amazon, the Sahara, and the devastating wildfires of Australia and the American west. We have closely covered the movements trying to bring about change such as Extinction Rebellion and the school climate strikes.
As an independent news organisation, our reporting on the climate emergency will never be influenced by commercial or political interests. Instead we counter misinformation and sensationalism with journalism that’s always rooted in scientific fact.
- We will report on how environmental collapse is already affecting people around the world, including during natural disasters and extreme weather events
We continue to be persistent, ambitious and forward-thinking when reporting on the human consequences of the climate emergency. And we have provided a platform for more voices to be heard, from those suffering directly, to those who inspire us with their fight for a brighter future.
We have put real people’s lives at the heart of our reporting, whether it is Bangladeshi farmers coping with flooding and rising sea levels, migrants escaping drought in the Sahel or Australians and Americans trying to deal with wildfires. We have also focused on environmental justice: it is a travesty that marginalised and minority communities have unequal access to the world’s natural resources.
- We will publish updating global indicators that point to the urgency of the situation
Following our move last year to recognise the severity of this crisis with new, urgent language such as “global heating” and the “climate emergency”, we are now adding numbers to the mix, with a dynamic dashboard of updating indicators that measure the health of the planet, such as temperature, sea levels and atmospheric carbon dioxide.
- The Guardian will achieve net zero emissions by 2030
We have undertaken a comprehensive audit of the emissions from our own operations and our full supply chain. We will completely eliminate two-thirds of our emissions by 2030. For the remaining third, we will remove carbon from the atmosphere by supporting the highest-quality offsetting schemes.
- We will seek to decouple our business and finances from fossil-fuel extractive companies
We took the decision earlier in 2020 to stop accepting advertising from fossil-fuel extractive companies, and have eliminated more than 95% of our investment exposure to fossil fuels.
- We will be transparent with our progress
We became the first major news organisation to become B Corp certified – reaching globally recognised standards and joining a community of businesses who openly commit to using business as a force for good. This is an important milestone in public transparency, accountability and ambition for our global environmental and societal impact.
The Guardian and the Observer have a history of powerful, high-impact environmental journalism that millions read around the world. We have now received funding from readers in more than 180 countries, helping us to maintain our reporting standards and pursue our future ambitions in service of the planet.
Your support means we can keep our journalism open, so more people have free access to essential, quality reporting on the climate crisis. It protects our editorial independence, helping to ensure our reporting is always free from commercial and political bias.
If there were ever a time to join us, it is now. You can show your support for the Guardian today with a contribution or subscription – every form of support, however big or small, is so valuable for our future. Thank you.