uOttawa’s Information Integrity Lab partners with Trottier Family Foundation to combat climate change mis/disinformation

Climate change
Trottier Grant announcement
The University of Ottawa's Information Integrity Lab announces a new partnership with the Trottier Family Foundation, backed by a $600,000 grant over the next three years. This collaboration aims to address the spread of mis/disinformation related to climate change.

Established in 2022, the Information Integrity Lab (InfoLab) focuses on understanding mis/disinformation in today’s environment. It operates at the intersection of technology, data science and the humanities. A key focus of the InfoLab is examining how false information affects public understanding and policymaking related to climate change resulting from human activity.

Misleading information can distort public perceptions and discourse around environmental issues, creating uncertainty about the reality and severity of the climate crisis. This can lead to public apathy, resistance to necessary action and increased polarization, complicating efforts to achieve consensus on climate issues.

Innovative strategies to counter climate disinformation

With the support of the Trottier Family Foundation, the InfoLab will develop innovative methodologies and tools that target climate change mis/disinformation. This includes addressing narratives that deny climate change, misrepresent data to minimize perceived threats, discredit mitigation strategies or propagate disinformation across various media, including visual and multimodal. These efforts are especially critical in the rapidly evolving context of AI technologies such as deep fakes that facilitate production of increasingly convincing disinformation.

Promoting evidence-based discussions on climate action

The grant will also fund a Summit on Climate Mis-Disinformation in Ottawa in June 2025 and a series of preparatory webinars and workshops in fall 2024. The formal launch is scheduled for October 2 (TBC), 2024, at uOttawa. These networking events will bring together experts and stakeholders from academia, government and civil society to address the national and global challenges of climate mis/disinformation. The goal is to foster interdisciplinary actions and provide practical resources and toolkits to counter the spread of false information about climate change.

Through this transformative collaboration, the InfoLab aims to foster an environment where informed, evidence-based discussions and decisions on climate action can prevail.

Learn more about the InfoLab.

For more information, contact: 

Jennifer Irish
Information Integrity Lab
University of Ottawa

[email protected]