Climate campaigners have expressed disappointment after the body responsible for emoji rejected calls for a wind turbine to be added.
The Possible charity and RenewableUK trade association submitted a request to Unicode last year, but say it was rejected for being too similar to a windmill, which itself is under review.
Emoji – the mini icon images used frequently when messaging via smartphone – currently feature a gas pump and an oil drum, but campaigners argue there is nothing that represents renewable energy.
“It’s fair to say we were quite perplexed by their decision,” Possible tweeted.
“Windmills and wind turbines are very different tech and people would likely use these emojis in entirely different contexts.”
[2/10] The reason they gave for rejecting our application was that a “windmill” emoji was currently under review and “this would essentially duplicate most of the reasons for adding a wind energy device…as they are too similar.”
— Possible (@_wearepossible) February 15, 2021
RenewableUK said Unicode’s decision is an “odd stance” given that the body’s main sponsoring companies include tech giants which are leading private sector advocates for action on climate change.
“We’re very disappointed that Unicode has refused to include a wind turbine emoji in its lexicon of symbols, especially as it already has emojis for fossil fuels like oil and petrol,” said Luke Clark, RenewableUK’s director of strategic communications.
“In a world where Tesla is already the most valuable motor company globally, a wind turbine is a much more relevant symbol for our future than a petrol pump.
“It might sound trivial, but emojis are an important part of how people communicate every day and Unicode is way behind the curve on the public’s concerns over climate change.
“People across the globe are discussing the climate emergency more and more every day.
“Emojis for wind turbines and other clean energy sources can help people to discuss and understand these issues, and celebrate the progress we’re making in decarbonising energy.”