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BBC accused of institutional alarmism as new report reveals long list of climate misinformation

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Press Release

London, 9 June – The BBC has been accused of institutional alarmism as a new report reveals the BBC’s persistent exaggeration and false information when it comes to climate and weather-related news.

The report, compiled by climate researcher Paul Homewood, reveals that the BBC has been forced to correct a dozen false claims and other items of fake news in climate-related coverage after receiving public complaints in recent years.


The report, which has been submitted to the Government’s upcoming Mid-Term Review of the BBC, shows that it has become common practice for BBC reporters to publicise exaggerated and often misleading weather-and climate-related stories in order to hype up the potential risks from global warming.

Net Zero director Benny Peiser said:

Persistent misrepresentation by BBC journalists in climate news coverage is fuelling the corporation’s institutional alarmism.

Institutional alarmism is a form of hyped and exaggerated news reporting that is deeply embedded in the BBC. It manifests itself as unbalanced, one-sided coverage of climate risks that are habitually exaggerated and that go uncorrected by the BBC’s in-house fact checkers.”

In 2020, the BBC’s director general warned that the problem posed by disinformation online was increasingly serious and that the BBC would need to work harder than ever to expose fake news and separate fact from fiction.

Since then the corporation has set up a team of fact checkers, a BBC-wide ‘Anti-Disinformation Unit’ and a ‘Climate Misinformation’ team. Yet none of these teams of fact checkers noticed or addressed the long list of false news stories that were only corrected by the BBC after lengthy and protracted complaint procedures.

Paul Homewood said:

There can be little doubt that the cases documented in this report are just the tip of the iceberg. Many other such inaccurate news or false information are broadcast by the BBC without being noticed or complained about.

It is also true that the BBC regularly try to fob off complainants with spurious replies, leading many to give in. This is even the case when their inaccurate claims are obvious, easily proven and manifest.”

Paul Homewood: Institutional Alarmism: The BBC’s disastrous climate complaints (pdf)