“Cameras Don’t Lie,” a climate-themed photo competition, has announced a winner which has been strategically placed on a billboard in New York’s Times Square to call out Canon for its supposed climate denial.
Hosted by the corporate accountability group Action Speaks Louder, the competition’s goal was to publicly call out Canon to issue a public statement that it in no way endorses the anti-science and pro-fossil fuel views of its think tank, the Canon Institute for Global Studies (CIGS).
Why CIGS is accused of climate denial is explained in the announcement of Action Speaks Louder’s photography competition. But in short, a prominent scientist at the think tank labels the climate crisis as “fake news” and Canon is accused of referencing his research to spread misinformation that it can then use to block Japan’s energy transition.
Ahead of unveiling its winner, Canon did respond to the allegations of Actions Speak Louder, but not in the way the organization was looking for: Canon refuted the climate change denial accusations, falling back on previous statements that the CIGS operates independently and that it isn’t responsible for CIGS nor what any doctor who works there believes.
That said, Canon has specifically said that it “hope[s]… CIGS will play an active role in shaping the future of Japan.”
As a result, the competition’s organizers went ahead with the plans for “Cameras Don’t Lie” and a billboard featuring the winning image and a direct call for Canon to end its climate denial sits prominently in New York’s Times Square.
“The competition received more than 180 entries from over 30 countries around the world, urging Canon to withdraw support for CIGS, spreading climate change misinformation and downplaying the climate crisis,” Action Speaks Louder says.
“Action Speaks Louder is calling on Canon to take action and join us in a fight to tackle the climate crisis. They’re asking Canon to withdraw support for CIGS until publications by its research directors denying the science of climate change are withdrawn from sale and to make a public statement that it in no way endorses the anti-science and pro-fossil fuel views of the think tank.”
A panel of judges selected photographer Paolo Patrizi’s photo titled “Vanishing Island of Dhal Chor Bangladesh” as the winning image.
Below are the other finalists that were considered by the “Cameras Don’t Lie” Competition:
“Climate change is real. There is unequivocal evidence that Earth is warming at an unprecedented rate. Human activity is the principal cause,” Patrizi says.
The photo will remain on display on the billboard until March 23, and Action Speaks Louder says the location was specifically chosen for its vast reach, with an average daily footfall of 505,556 across the two days it is visible and its cultural significance, being the world’s most prestigious advertising site.
The timing is also not coincidental. Action Speaks Louder chose to display it this week, ahead of Canon’s annual shareholder meeting on the 30th of March, to pressure the camera company to end support for CIGS’s climate denial and make bolder renewable energy commitments.
“With the stark warning in the IPCC 6th Assessment Report this week, Action Speaks Louder is calling on Canon to take action and join us in a fight to tackle the climate crisis,” Action Speaks Louder says.
“They’re asking Canon to withdraw support for CIGS until publications by its research directors denying the science of climate change are withdrawn from sale and to make a public statement that it in no way endorses the anti-science and pro-fossil fuel views of the think tank.”
Image credits: All images provided courtesy of Action Speaks Louder