emojis edf
Image credit: EDF

UK utility EDF has launched a new collection of emojis to help the public to discuss net-zero and other climate change related topics.

EDF has launched five new emojis depicting some of the key topics that people might want to reference. The collection includes symbols for ‘Net Zero’, ‘carbon footprint’, ‘wind energy’, ‘nuclear energy’ and ‘solar energy’.

These will all be submitted to Unicode for consideration in the official emoji keyboard. Last week’s release of 2021 emojis included no new references to the environment or climate change, so EDF hopes to see these new designs featured in the 2022 update.

The utility says its new collection of emojis will help nearly half of Brits with no understanding of ‘net-zero’ carbon emissions, despite it being a key environmental goal for the UK.

Less than a third (27%) of Britons understand what ‘net-zero carbon emissions means.

Only a fifth (19.7%) of Brits often discuss climate issues with others, according to a statement.

The study of 5,000 people across the UK showed that only 8% feel they understand net-zero emissions very well.

EDF believes that it will help increase the discussion of climate change as emojis are fast becoming the most used global language.

Reasons preventing discussions around the climate challenge include not fully understanding what the UK is trying to achieve (18%), concerns about not understanding the complexities (17%) and not feeling there is a simple way of bringing it into daily conversation (17%).

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The research also revealed that a quarter (25%) of Brits believe that introducing more emojis related to achieving Net Zero would make it easier to talk about the topic and a third (34%) would be likely to use a Net Zero emoji if it was available.

The research further revealed that there is a widespread lack of understanding about the steps individuals can take to help the UK reach its Net Zero target. Despite 72% of Brits agreeing that reaching Net Zero should be a global priority, only 55% were aware they can personally help contribute. Only a third were aware that switching to an electric vehicle (33%) or improving home insulation (32%) would help.

Up to 45% of Brits uses emojis daily, rising to 65% of 18-34 year olds. A total of 40% believe emojis help people discuss complex issues more easily – with a third (36%) using them to help make their point and a fifth (20%) believing emojis help them communicate more effectively than words.

Philippe Commaret, managing director for customers at EDF added: “In order to tackle climate change, we need to get everyone speaking the language of carbon reduction. As we get closer to 2050, it’s more important than ever to have meaningful conversations with the people around us about the future of our planet.

“As Britain’s biggest generator of zero carbon electricity, we’re committed to helping Britain achieve Net Zero. As emojis continue to be such an important part of modern communication, we believe this new collection will help break down the barriers to discussing climate issues and encourage everyone to play their part in reducing carbon emissions.”