Press Release: Global Climate Photography Competition Launch Photographers Demand Canon End Support for Climate Denial
Coinciding with annual Canon shareholder meeting, the winning climate change-themed image will be displayed in Times Square, New York City, to pressure camera company into public response
Wednesday 15 February 2023: A global climate change-themed photography competition has launched to raise awareness of the climate denial being spread by Japanese technology company Canon’s think tank, the Canon Institute for Global Studies (CIGS).
Climate-concerned photographers and corporate accountability group Action Speaks Louder are launching the competition with the tagline #CamerasDontLie. This is in response to Canon think tank’s research director Taishi Sugiyama — who has sat on influential Japanese government task forces — labelling the climate crisis as ‘fake news’ and publishing books questioning climate science, including one targeted at Japanese school children.
The CIGS’ comments align with Canon’s failure to commit to clean energy. Canon has only committed to a 4.85% renewable energy target, while its peers such as Sony, Ricoh, Fujifilm, Nikon and Panasonic have committed to 100% renewable electricity. A Transition Asia report from late 2022 also revealed Canon has effectively halved its emissions reduction target.
The photography competition is open to the general public; it features an international judging panel consisting of influential photographers, artists and activists such as Celina Chien, Hisham Akira Bharoocha, Naoki Ishikawa and more. The winning #CamerasDontLie image will be displayed as advertising in Times Square, New York City, ahead of Canon’s annual shareholder meeting in late March 2023.
Action Speaks Louder is calling on Canon to issue a public statement that it in no way endorses the anti-science and pro-fossil fuel views of CIGS. The group is also demanding Canon commit to 100% renewable electricity and advocate for the rapid energy transition in Japan.
“Canon is one of the world’s most influential brands and has the capacity to catalyse real climate action. But the reality of Canon’s promotion of climate denial coupled with its appalling record on clean energy would shock its customers. This competition aims to harness the creativity of photographers around the world to challenge Canon to be the sustainable company it markets itself as.” Action Speaks Louder, Executive Director, James Lorenz
“Supporting an institution linked to climate change denial and the spread of inaccurate information regarding climate science is tantamount to sabotaging our collective habitable future on this planet. Canon has an enormous responsibility as a company in its own operations and as a global brand. Does Canon want its legacy to be on the wrong side of history? Stop supporting environmental misinformation and be the medium of change-making storytelling.” Cameras Don’t Lie judge and award-winning photojournalist and actor, Celina Chien
“A significant portion of ‘what appears to be a scientific controversy’ over the climate crisis is intended to delay action. A company that aims for a sustainable future should keep a distance from such a manufactured controversy, which would undermine its core value.” Seita Emori, Professor, Institute for Future Initiatives, the University of Tokyo/Senior Principal Researcher, National Institute for Environmental Studies
“Canon is putting its reputation at risk by allowing Sugiyama’s misinformation. They can regain trust from their customers by stopping him.” Jusen Asuka, Professor, Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Tohoku University
The photography competition is live, and entries can be submitted via the competition page https://speakslouder.org/camerasdontlie. The deadline for entries is 23:59 on 28th February Japan Standard Time.
About Action Speaks Louder
Action Speaks Louder holds big companies accountable for their climate change promises. Scientists agree the climate crisis is hurting us now, not just tomorrow. Burning fossil fuels is causing this crisis.
From extreme weather to food shortages and deaths from air pollution, the impacts of global warming on our health and the planet are devastating. Our future and our children’s future are at stake. Every action we take now to cut the use of the fossil fuels that cause climate change makes a difference.
Most big companies are already promising to stop causing climate change. That’s because ‘sustainability’ is a popular selling point for their customers, staff and investors. But the gap between what they say and what they do is often vast. At Action Speaks Louder, our campaigners identify the companies which can make the greatest impact. When these companies stop using fossil fuels and stop blocking the transition to clean energy, the payoff spans the planet.
Competition page: https://speakslouder.org/camerasdontlie
Transition Asia Reports
- Analysis of Canon’s New 2023 Targets, published November 2022: https://transitionasia.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/TA-Canon-Climate-Report-291122_Final-1.pdf
- Taking Stock of Japan’s Digital Camera Manufacturers’ RE Ambition and Action, published November 2022: https://transitionasia.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/TA-Canon-RE-Peer-Ranking-291122_Final.pdf