Denialism in Italy, Spain and Greece stemming from drought, floods and forest fires


This report was developed by fact-checking organisations (Spain), Facta (Italy) and Ellinika Hoaxes (Greece) as part of the Climate Facts Europe project coordinated by the European Fact-Checking Standards Network, which aims to detect and track patterns in misinformation ahead of and following the elections.

This report is the second of four planned to analyse mis- and disinformation identified in the Climate Facts database as part of the Climate Facts Europe project, which will be released about once a month through September in the lead up to and the weeks following the 2024 European Parliament Elections.

Access the database at Read more about the EFCSN on their website. Follow the EFCSN on X, Threads, and LinkedIn for regular updates about their projects.

Read it in Spanish here.

In recent years, Europe has witnessed a troubling rise in conspiracy theories that deny climate change, particularly in the context of extreme weather events. This report delves into how mis/disinformation and denialism have taken root in Italy, Spain, and Greece, where severe natural events have been misrepresented by disinformation content to minimize the reality of climate change. Floodings, droughts, and wildfires induced by the climate crisis have often been portrayed as the result of deliberate human action aimed at harming citizens or the result of alleged political wills in favor of specific groups of interests.

Such unfounded claims have not only emerged in the public debate of the mentioned countries, but have often been also boosted by prominent politicians and public personalities recalling them, despite the very serious and baseless accusations they promote.

In Italy, severe flooding events have sparked various conspiracy theories, falsely attributing the cause of them to local governments or to the human manipulation of the weather. The same happened in Spain with the water scarcity that affected southwestern Europe in general, with conspiracies that had a significant impact on the Spanish public debate. In Greece, the focal point of false and conspirative content was recent wildfires and their supposed connection to the installation of wind turbines.Through an in-depth examination of specific incidents and the false narratives that followed, this report aims to shed light on the mechanisms of climate denialism and its impact on public perception, policies, and legal and environmental realities. 

Blaming democratic institutions for causing natural disasters appears aimed at spreading mistrust toward democracy itself, but also to suggest that climate change is not real. Trying to portray extreme weather as a responsibility of alleged malign political interests seems to be an attempt to minimize the seriousness of climate change, undermining support for the measures needed to reduce the impact of the climate crisis and its side effects.

Part I - Floods

Italy is one of the countries in continental Europe where extreme weather events are more and more increasingly numerous and frequent. Especially in the last two years, these events have caused a variety of damage to the territory and population affected. In September 2022, heavy rains fell in the Marche region, while the following year, in May, it was the case in Emilia-Romagna. In the latter region, the heavy rainfall, together with a concomitance of factors, caused landslides, floods, and flooding. The consequences were dozens of deaths, 70,000 people suffered damage, and almost 9 billion in economic damage. Various conspiracy theories came to aggravate the situation: people started to believe that the rains and the damage were caused artificially, intentionally. Some sort of “evil plan” by local governments. These theories, which are part of a larger narrative denying climate change, refer to facts and events that actually happened, but the explanations given to them were completely false and misleading.

Impact of extreme weather

To give some context to what happened in Emilia-Romagna, between the end of April and mid-May 2023, there was more or less widespread rainfall in the regions of central and northern Italy. Compared to other locations, the amount of rain that fell on 16 and 17 May in Emilia-Romagna was an exceptional event. In fact, the rainfall in that region was very persistent and concentrated in a short period of time. Approximately 300 millimeters of rain fell within 36-48 hours. This is a significant figure for a region like Emilia-Romagna, which sees an average of 888.5 millimeters of rainfall in a year.

The damage was not only caused by the heavy rains, but other factors exacerbated the situation: the saturation of the land and the state of the waterways, which were narrow and dammed. 

The quite widespread false narrative circulating on social media was completely different: according to disinformation, both the floods and the related damage were the result of a specific plan by unspecified actors who voluntarily not only caused the rains, but flooded an entire region through the voluntary opening of dams and locks. This kind of misinformation was conveyed mainly through video content.

Locks and dams

In one case, a video circulated in mid-May on social media showing a series of locks, which are artificial dams of a watercourse, and canals where there was little water. The video was shot in Casalecchio di Reno, a municipality near Bologna (the capital of the region). The logic behind this video was as follows: the barrages were opened, which caused a huge influx of water that would then pour into the affected cities. The video was indeed filmed in Casalecchio, but the explanation given was totally wrong. In fact, the experts who manage the canals in Bologna have explained that the barrage allows part of the river water to flow into the Reno canal to be used artificially. The absence of water in the canal means that the apparatus diverting water from the main river has been closed to isolate the canal from the river. If the canal is empty, it means that water did not enter it: the regulating organs that would have allowed water to enter had been closed to prevent this from happening.

An article by The Ridracoli dam is not the cause of the floods in Emilia-Romagna

Another similar narrative had gone viral in those days. In this case, the blame was placed on the operators of the Ridracoli dam, a reservoir in a mountain hamlet. According to the theories circulating in those days, the dam had been closed for months, since November 2022, accumulating a huge amount of water to the brink. With the arrival of the heavy rains of 15 and 17 May 2023, the false theory claimed that, as there was no more room in the reservoir, the dam operators had to open it, releasing an avalanche of water that they allegedly “threw at the population”. Along with this narrative, a video also circulated, completely edited, in which the president of the Emilia-Romagna region, Stefano Bonaccini, allegedly supported and confirmed the Ridracoli dam theory. The aim of the video was to give validity to the theory, which is, however, totally wrong. 

During some days of May, including the two days before the floods, the dam had carried out several operations. One of those was the spilling of the water contained in the reservoir through the dam's middle outlet in order to dampen the flooding of the Bidente river. The dam technicians had explained that in this way the dam could collect the expected rainwater that would accumulate in the following hours. During this operation, the level of the basin was lowered by only 60 centimeters, so it is not possible that this amount of water released in a controlled manner produced flooding and damage.

Both of the theories described were therefore based on real events and situations, i.e. the opening or closing of dams and locks, but the explanation given was completely misleading and wrong.

“Cloud seeding”

Based on the same underlying mechanism, the idea that heavy rainfall was caused by cloud seeding, a term used to describe a technology that actually exists by which rain can be artificially stimulated within clouds. This theory that the rainfall was induced uses as evidence the trajectories of some planes that flew over the flooded areas in an unusual way around 14th May. From the images of Flightradar24, a global flight-tracking service that provides real-time information on thousands of aircraft around the world, which have been provided as proof of the claim, it appears that the planes made circular movements for a long time.

An article by No, these aircrafts did not cause the floods in Emilia Romagna

The images were real, but again there is an underlying explanation. The aircraft in question recorded images of the Giro d’Italia, the main cycling stage race in Italy, which were broadcast in real-time during live television transmissions. This was the reason why the trajectory of the airplane was unusual compared to a normal aircraft flight. And more importantly, cloud seeding cannot determine the weather and the efficiency of this system is rather low, so it could never have experienced such heavy rainfall.

The same conspiracy theory about the role of cloud seeding appeared again during the floods that hit the United Arab Emirates, particularly Dubai, in mid-April 2024. This false narrative – also spread in other European countries such as Greece and Spain –was reinforced by the fact that the National Center of Meteorology of the Emirates actually runs a cloud-seeding program. And it is no secret. A detail that gave the theory a semblance of credibility. As we have already mentioned, however, this technique cannot cause such events as the one that hit Dubai, and the National Center of Meteorology itself confirmed that it did not run any operations in the days leading up to the rains. Cloud seeding has now become the protagonist of a distinct strand of climate denialism: the same people who deny that certain human activities can change the climate in the long term blame other human activities for individual weather events. This provides convenient and ideologically reassuring explanations of what is happening around us: climate change does not exist. People, even in good faith, believe everything they read about rainfall, heavy precipitation and extreme weather events in general because they lack a basic knowledge of how the climate and related phenomena such as the water cycle work.

Misrepresenting climate phenomena

Taking advantage of the floods in Emilia-Romagna in 2023 and those in Marche in 2022 another disinformation narrative has cast doubt and denied another problem linked to the climate crisis: drought. “During a drought, it cannot rain” is the underlying thesis.

But thinking that drought implies a total absence of rainfall and water in rivers and lakes is one of the most common mistakes. For those who believe this theory, Italy would not have been in a drought emergency at that time because there was rainfall and heavy flooding. The actions taken by the governments that declared these emergencies would therefore only be a justification to limit the freedom of citizens, according to disinformers.

But drought is a natural and temporary weather condition in which there is a significant reduction in rainfall compared to the average climatic conditions of the place under consideration, not necessarily a total absence. Experts have reiterated that floods and droughts are two natural aspects of the variability of the hydrological cycle, but they are not necessarily related to each other. Some precipitation, in fact, do not determine and do not mean the interruption of a period of drought.

Despite the baselessness of these claims, they also emerged in other EU countries affected by the same extreme conditions. 

Part II - Water scarcity in South West of Europe…

Lack of rain and water scarcity affected mainly the South West of Europe during 2023 with a transition towards the East at the end of summer, according to the European State of the Climate 2023. A persistent lack of precipitation during late winter and spring and above-average temperatures in the Iberian Peninsula and western Mediterranean resulted in a severe drought in those regions. After the driest April since the Spanish meteorological agency had registries, Pedro Sanchez’s Government adopted urgent measures aimed at protecting the primary sector against the effects of the water scarcity.

Although this lack of rain was especially persistent in western Europe in the first half of 2023, a continued drought situation that had affected Italy since 2022 made Meloni’s Government extend the state of emergency in April from the North to the central part of the country. After a generally wet June, drier-than-average conditions continued during July and August on the Iberian Peninsula. Water reserves in the Spanish peninsula in mid-July were 43%, almost 20 points below the 10-year average for the same period. Precipitation stabilized in the Iberian Peninsula in September, although water reserves kept reducing, reaching 36% by the end of the month, and didn’t start to recover until October 2023. The lack of rain moved then to southeastern Europe, where meteorological drought conditions affected again various territories.

…and how it has been exploited by disinformation

This continuous situation of lack of rain and water scarcity brought a variety of mis and disinformation narratives that, in a nutshell, linked this extreme weather phenomenon with other reasons rather than its real causes: cyclic droughts in a Mediterranean climate, water management and water uses, and the effects of climate change. Thus, these messages hindered a fact-based debate in the South of Europe. 

In Spain, since precipitation started to go down in 2023, water scarcity has been a major topic of climate mis and disinformation. The main message is that the drought is provoked by Spanish and European authorities. To convey this message, two main narratives have been spread:

1) the Spanish authorities were demolishing dams to provoke water scarcity 

2) and, once the drought had reduced its severity and it’s coming to an end in mid-2024, these authorities are deliberately emptying the water reservoirs to declare the water scarcity problem afterwards.

Conspiracies emerging in the political debate

During the spring and summer of 2023, the dam-demolishing narrative thrived and penetrated Spanish political spheres. The Spanish far-right party Vox repeatedly used this narrative during their campaigns and debates for the local and regional elections that took place on May 28th (1, 2, 3). These elections were followed by a general election in mid-July where the dam removal narrative was also present. As for the type of content with which this narrative is conveyed, there are both general contents but also contents that point at specific dams. Since 2023, has debunked or given context to nine hoaxes or misinformative stories that pointed at specific cases.

"There goes the water to then declare droughts," said a video that recorded a waterflow coming out of Alcántara hydroelectric dam, which collects water from the Tagus in the province of Cáceres, very close to the Portugal border. A viral video claimed that on 21 January 2024 water was being discharged from the reservoir to "fill the reservoirs of Portugal" while paving the way to declare the droughts situation in Spain. But the day after the spill, the reservoir was at more than 93% of its capacity and, by the end of that week, had increased its reserves from 71% to 94%.

As mentioned before, in Italy there were different extreme weather events related to water in 2023. In July 2022, Mario Draghi’s Government declared the state of emergency for the water crisis in five regions of the North of the country (Emilia-Romagna, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Lombardy, Piedmont, and Veneto), which were then extended in 14th April by Meloni’s Government to five other regions (Umbria, Lazio, Liguria, Tuscany and Marche) until December 31, 2023. In parallel to this situation, two floods took place in the country: one in mid-May in Emilia-Romagna and at the end of October in Tuscany.

This flood came along with contents on social media spreading the myth of denying the drought emergency in Italy by saying that while there is heavy rain, there cannot be a drought. “Drought with rain. The next passage of the narrative will be "the water is dry"” was one of the claims shared in May. This generalized lack of knowledge about drought is also shared with Spain, where a myth has reinforced claiming that water is “dumped” when it is released into the sea by the rivers.

Along these narratives, in 2023 a revival of the chemtrails conspiracy theory took place. This theory, which normally claims that Governments scatter dangerous substances over the population with the aim of spreading diseases or damaging crops, since 2023 has shifted the focus toward lack of rain. Now, its main thesis is that chemtrails dissolve the clouds to prevent rainfall, thus provoking drought conditions to control the population by controlling their most valuable resource. has debunked many hoaxes about this issue, some of them using satellite images to allegedly ‘prove’ that the coming clouds were removed from the sky. This is the same weather modification theory used for the plane in the case of the Giro d'Italia, but this time claiming that the technique was used to prevent rain instead of causing it. 

One of the satellite images used to “prove” the lack of rain was artificially caused

More recently, a new false narrative is vehiculating the message that water scarcity in Spain is somehow caused or worsened by Morocco and its water policies. Sometimes it's based on true facts to create a distorted image. For example, one content claims that the Spanish government has paid millions to Morocco to develop water infrastructures to the detriment of Spanish water policy. These contents use a base of truth to distort reality and create the idea that there is some kind of favorable treatment from the Spanish government or the European Union towards Morocco.

Part III - Wildfires and wind turbines

When we think of drought, the image that often comes to mind is of cracked, dried earth and prolonged heatwaves. While this might seem like a distant reality to some, droughts can impact our lives on multiple levels, often in ways that are not immediately apparent unless we are directly affected. Sometimes, even those experiencing the consequences fail to make the connection. Climate change is expected to gradually exacerbate these challenges, making the impacts of droughts more severe and less predictable. Effective drought monitoring and well-informed societies are crucial for understanding and mitigating its effects on ecosystems, water sources, and the economy. As a notable side effect, prolonged droughts also create the conditions for an increased risk of wildfires

Drought and Wildfires in Greece

In the last 30 years, Greece has experienced at least six periods of drought, with the wet periods being shorter in duration and with lower values [drought indicator: Standardized Precipitation and Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI)]. In a 2022 survey on public perception of climate change and its impacts in Greece, participants rated various consequences on a scale from 1 (not at all threatening) to 5 (very threatening). Notably, drought received the highest number of 1 ratings, indicating that many do not perceive it as a significant threat. Wildfires received the fewest 1 ratings, as most participants considered them a significant threat.

During the first 10 days of May 2024, Europe experienced severe drought conditions, with southern Italy and eastern Spain on alert (Alert - Red), according to the Composite Drought Index (CDI) metrics. Severe drought conditions were also observed in Greece, where 70% of the territory was in a state of alert with low soil moisture levels. 5% of the territory was in a state of alert with immediate effects on vegetation.

A map of droughts in Europe by the Greek organization Climatebook

The rising temperatures, the drought combined with extreme weather events, changes in land use and reduced rainfall favor the frequency and intensity of wildfires. According to Niki Evelpidou, Professor in the Department of Geology and Geoenvironment at the University of Athens, prolonged droughts along with rising temperatures increase the flammability of forests. Evelpidou commented that this factor contributed to the devastating fires that occurred in August 2021 in Evia. 

Greece is located at the south-eastern tip of Europe, in an area that according to Copernicus has high rates of fires during the summer months. In the summer of 2023, Greece experienced one of the most destructive fires since 2000 and onwards which burned 920,000 m2 of land.


Well-informed societies and policymakers are prerequisites for adaptation policies and actions towards climate change and wildfire management. Understanding the connection between climate change and droughts, as well as the association between droughts and the increased wildfire activity due to the reduction in soil moisture and fuel availability, should be a priority. However, these efforts are often undermined by the spread of misinformation and disinformation during fire seasons. One narrative repeatedly debunked by fact-checkers in Greece is the claim that forests are being burned solely to install wind farms and thus for some individuals to profit. When presented with controversial sentences about climate change, 7 out of 10 participants in a survey in Greece said that they agree with the opinion that most fires are the result of arson, while 5 out of 10 said that they agree that after devastating fires, wind farms bloom.

Green Energy in Greece 

Greece as an EU member state has to be in line with the EU’s climate neutrality objectives under the European Green Deal. This means implementing policies and actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance energy efficiency, and transition to renewable energy sources. In 2023, Greece hit a decade-high in the annual production of Green Energy. The participation of renewable energy sources in electricity generation and consumption constitutes a main policy priority for the country. Wind energy is a significant contributor to this growth with the capacity of its cumulative energy generation installed increasing. Gradually, as Greece has installed more than 110 onshore wind turbines each year since 2017 (except for 2022), the narrative that malicious actors burn down Greek mountains to install wind farms continues to gain traction.

Climate change and climate beliefs among Greeks 

Over time, data from national surveys reveal that while Greeks acknowledge climate change as a real phenomenon and a threat, there are significant inconsistencies in public opinion, with some views aligning with older but also new forms of climate denialism. In the latest 2024 study, 43% of participants reported that their lives are already affected by climate change, while 44.6% stated that their lives are not yet affected but will be in the near future. Only 10% believed that climate change will have no consequences for their lives. A 2022 study found that almost 9% of participants denied the existence of climate change, but by 2023, this figure had risen to 15%. Contradictions were evident, with 48.5% of respondents suggesting that climate change is fabricated by rich countries to the detriment of poorer nations, essentially disputing the effects of human activity on global warming. Additionally, 25.4% of the participants believe that climate change is an unsolvable issue. This trend mirrors findings at the European level. In the past, climate deniers dismissed climate change as a hoax or denied human responsibility. However, many now employ different tactics: undermining climate science and casting doubt on climate solutions (“climate solutions won’t work”). Such denialist tactics also feed into persistent narratives, like the claim that forests are being burned to make way for wind farms, which further erodes trust in scientific communication and hinders support for balanced, evidence-based climate policies.

The narrative about wildfires and wind turbines

This false narrative has been spreading for years. In a nutshell, it is about wind turbines being installed or about to be installed in areas that were recently burnt. False stories create  a causal link between wildfires and wind turbines implying that forests are burnt for wind turbines to be installed. The first time Ellinika Hoaxes detected and debunked such claims was in 2018, when two images from the region of Antirio were spread online. One image showed a hill on fire, and the other supposedly depicted wind turbines installed on the same hill, taken one year apart. Interestingly, the same claim and images spread in Spain five years later, in 2023. Since 2018, the narrative has emerged almost every summer. As in the aforementioned case, these claims are usually based on images — authentic or edited — of wind farms supposedly installed in specific burnt areas. In all the cases that Ellinika Hoaxes has debunked, investigations found that the images were not from the burnt areas they were attributed to.

An article by Ellinika Hoaxes: Are forests burning to install wind turbines?

Out of the whole country, the area of Evia has been targeted the most by this false narrative, with claims that wind turbines will be or have been installed in its burnt areas. Evia has experienced numerous wildfires in both its northern and southern regions. The northern area was heavily impacted in 2021 when fires spread from the Euboean Gulf to the Aegean Sea, increasing between August 5 and 11 from 73.13 to 509.09 square kilometers. Additionally, Evia belongs to central Greece, the region of the country with the highest cumulative wind capacity. These factors could be the reasons why the region has been targeted by this narrative, leading to more than half of the debunks produced by Ellinika Hoaxes being about it. An edited image of a wind farm allegedly built on burnt areas in Evia, despite being debunked since 2021, keeps reappearing online.

What is interesting about this baseless narrative is how it has become so widespread that it is now a shared belief among a large part of Greek society. As mentioned, a study on beliefs and thoughts around climate change, conducted by Metron Analysis and Dianeosis in 2022, found that 51.5% of respondents believe that “after catastrophic fires in forests, wind turbines appear.” The claim even leaks into political discourse, spread by politicians from across the political spectrum. In the summer of 2023, when the claim reemerged, Kyriakos Velopoulos, leader of the conservative parliamentary party Greek Solution and a climate change denialist, shared a video of Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Greece’s Prime Minister. According to the claim that Velopoulos shared on his X account, Mitsotakis appeared to have said, “we will not reforest everywhere because wind turbines need a place to be installed,” giving the impression that the PM was linking the restoration of burnt areas with the installation of wind turbines or considering the existence of burnt areas as a prerequisite for the installation of wind turbines. In fact, the video was a snippet of a two-year-old speech by the PM in which he never made the aforementioned statement. 

An article by Ellinika Hoaxes: Misleading presentation of an earlier statement by K. Mitsotakis on reforestation and wind turbines

This was a very bold example of how this narrative has entered the political discourse and been shared among climate denialists. Velopoulos and his party are not the only ones from the political sphere who have shared this narrative. The claim has been also shared by the far-right parliamentary political party Spartiates and individuals from the opposition left party SYRIZA. At the same time the conservative, ultra-Orthodox parliamentary party NIKI and left parties like the Communist Party of Greece and MeRA25, have also connected wind turbines and wildfires, albeit in a much more moderate way either implying it or asking for more strict legal protection of burnt areas that would prohibited completely the installation of wind turbines. 

Interestingly, the spread of the narrative in conservative circles and the underestimation of climate change and its consequences seem to coincide. Survey conducted in 2024 by Metron Analysis and Dianeosis found that people who self-identify as right-wing and far-right tend to underestimate the direct impacts that climate change has and will have on their lives compared to those who self-identify as left-wing. A similar survey conducted in 2022 found that people belonging to the right and far-right tended to be slightly more skeptical of the claim that 'climate change is due to human activity' (91.3% of the far-left supported the claim compared to 87.6% of the far-right).

The claim completely ignores the legal framework for wind farm installations in Greece. According to this framework, wind turbines can be installed in forests, under certain circumstances and the provisions of article 24 of the Hellenic Constitution. This means that there is no need for a forest area to lose its forest character for wind farms to be installed there. What was unclear for many years was whether wind farms could be created in burnt areas, which, according to article 117 of the Constitution, are necessarily characterized as under reforestation, prohibiting other activities. In a 2012 decision, the Hellenic Council of State (the supreme administrative court in Greece) ruled that, since wind turbines can be installed in forests, they can also be installed in burnt areas, but more proof of the necessity of this specific activity is needed in each case. This makes the installation of wind turbines in burnt areas more difficult in terms of the authorization procedure and completely strips away any motive for burning down a forest for this reason. At the same time, it removes any motive from those who might want to prevent the installation of wind turbines in a specific area, as even if the area is burnt, the installation could still ultimately proceed.

There is also no evidence of wind farms being massively created in burnt areas. In contrast, often faced with this narrative, the Hellenic Scientific Association for Wind Energy (HWEA), published research in March 2024 according to which “the total number of wind farms installed on land under reforestation—whether installed before or after the fire—occupies less than 0.06% of this land”. In Spain, conducted an analysis for Asturias region, in the North of the country, where the wind farm and forest fires narrative had spread. It concluded that only 10 towns (out of 78) had had a forest fire in the first months of 2023 and also one or more wind farms in the pipeline. The vast majority of the towns with fires had no wind farms projected at that moment.


Comparing false stories circulated in Spain and Italy, climate mis/disinformation spread last year in these two countries was very similar, even if the extreme events they referred to were very different, particularly droughts and floods. The message spread by the main false narratives was that, respectively, both droughts and floods were not natural events, but a part of an evil plan of the governments to cause damage to the population. According to disinformation, governments used techniques such as “cloud seeding” to spray chemicals into the sky and eliminate/cause rain, which allegedly led to droughts (in Spain) and floods (in Italy). In other cases, false stories claimed that governments tampered with the functioning of dams to cause extreme weather events. In Spain, it has been suggested that the local authorities demolished dams to provoke water scarcity, while similar conspiracy theories alleged that, in Italy, the dams were voluntarily opened to let a huge amount of water hit villages at the valley bottom. So, this kind of disinformation therefore referred to real events but the explanations given to them were completely misleading and unfounded, suggesting that some of the most tangible effects of climate change are due to alleged political will to harm citizens.  A noteworthy feature of these false theories is that they blame governments for using the same techniques to cause two opposite events: a prolonged absence of rain, with a consequent drought, and an excess of rain that led to floods. Quite bizarre.

While in Italy and Spain the false stories analyzed appear in line with the usual  “climate denialism” – which denies climate change or the effects of human actions on it – in Greece false stories seem to belong to the so-called “new denial”, which focus more on targeting countermeasures (such as more widespread use of electric vehicles, renewable energy sources, etc.) aimed at countering the climate crisis, in an attempt to spread confusion on the issue and undermine support for climate action while the transition to more sustainable sources of energy appears more urgent than ever. By misleadingly saying that forests are being put on fire or cut down to create space for wind turbines, false stories appear aimed at denying the real cause of the forest fires and undermining the credibility of renewable energy. 

Despite these denialist theories made serious accusations without proof, they have also been widely shared by public figures and other relevant political actors playing important roles in shaping public opinion, but also in making policy decisions and actions about it. And prompt action is needed, especially at the legislative level, to try to mitigate the damage caused by climate change.

This report was developed by fact-checking organisations (Spain), Facta (Italy) and Ellinika Hoaxes (Greece) as part of the Climate Facts Europe project coordinated by the European Fact-Checking Standards Network, which aims to detect and track patterns in misinformation ahead of and following the elections.

This report is the second of four planned to analyse mis- and disinformation identified in the Climate Facts database as part of the Climate Facts Europe project, which will be released about once a month through September in the lead up to and the weeks following the 2024 European Parliament Elections.

Access the database at Read more about the EFCSN on their website. Follow the EFCSN on X, Threads, and LinkedIn for regular updates about their projects.

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