Beautiful and troubling photographs of how the world is changing and heating up are part of a competition to pressure one of the world’s leading camera companies to drop its controversial views on climate.
Business accountability watchdog Action Speaks Louder launched the “Cameras Don’t Lie” competition in February in order to pressure photography giant Canon to distance itself from the climate denial the group says is being perpetuated at a nonprofit Canon supports.
“Canon has two faces; while branding itself as an environmentally-friendly and socially responsible company, it has created a think tank, the Canon Institute for Global Studies (CIGS), which is a platform for climate denial,” the campaign’s website reads.
The Canon Institute for Global Studies was founded by Canon in 2008 “with the aim of contributing to the development of Japan and the rest of the world,” according to a company press release. As the Guardian reported last year, a fellow at the Institute, Taishi Sugiyama, has written multiple blog posts for the Institute that question the science behind climate change and endorse content and theories from prominent denier-led groups and institutions. A report released by a think tank last year also found that Canon has significantly lower climate ambitions than competitors like Nikon, Sony, and Panasonic, and recently lowered its emissions reductions targets.
Earther reached out to the Canon Institute as well as Canon for comment but did not hear back by time of publication. Multiple articles mentioned in the Guardian piece from Sugiyama, including one article calling Thunberg a communist as well as a description of a children’s book he wrote that encourages kids to “investigate the effects of global warming based on facts,” remain live on the site.
Canon has pushed back on the allegations that it has lackluster environmental goals as well as the charges from Action Speaks Louder.
“The statements referred to by Action Speaks Louder are those published by Mr. Sugiyama, who is affiliated with CIGS. CIGS operates independently and is unrelated to the business activities of Canon. The research and statements published by Mr. Sugiyama are solely his own,” the company told PetaPixel early last month. “Therefore, Canon is not in a position to officially respond to inquiries from Action Speaks Louder. Global environmental issues are one of Canon’s management core pillars, and Canon remains committed to contributing, through a variety of means, to the realization of a net-zero CO2 emissions society.”
The finalists here were selected from more than 180 entries from 30 countries. The winning image, “Vanishing Island of Dhal Chor Bangladesh” by photographer Paolo Patrizi, shown above, was on display in Times Square in New York City in March, ahead of Canon’s shareholder meeting.
Click through to see the winning photograph and other finalists in the campaign.