How Do US Congress Members Advertise Climate Change: An Analysis of Ads Run on Meta’s Platforms

Laurenz Aisenpreis, Gustav Gyrst, Vedran Sekara

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Ensuring transparency and integrity in political communication on climate change has arguably never been more important than today.
Yet we know little about how politicians focus on, talk about, and portray climate change on social media.
Here we study it from the perspective of political advertisement.
We use Meta’s Ad Library to collect 602,546 ads that have been issued by US Congress members since mid-2018.
Out of those only 19,176 (3.2%) are climate-related.
Analyzing this data, we find that Democrats focus substantially more on climate change than Republicans, with 99.7% of all climate-related ads stemming from Democrats.
In particular, we find this is driven by a small core of Democrats, where 72% of all impressions can be attributed to 10 politicians.
Interestingly, we find a significant difference in the average amount of impressions generated per dollar between the two parties.
Republicans generate on average 188% more impressions with their climate ads for the same money spent as Democrats.
We build models to explain the differences and find that demographic factors only partially explain the variance.
Our results demonstrate differences of climate-related advertisements of US congress members and reveal differences in advertising characteristics between the two political parties.
We anticipate our work to be a starting point for further studies about climate-related ads on Meta’s platforms.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication Proceedings of the International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media
Publication date2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • computational social science
  • climate change
  • political advertisement


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