A bid by UK charity Possible and renewables advocacy group RenewableUK to have an emoji of a wind turbine added to the global messaging lexicon is in the doldrums after the body that releases new emojis each year, Unicode, rejected the idea as “duplicating” the windmill icon already under consideration.
“Last year, we submitted an application for a (long overdue) wind turbine,” Possible said in a string of tweets. “The reason [Unicode] 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 said it was “perplexed” by Unicode’s verdict given that wind turbines and windmills were “very different tech and people would likely use these emojis in entirely different contexts”.
The charity went on to argue: “Emojis are an important part of how we talk to each other, so it only seems sensible that our [texting] vocabulary … should have symbols relating to climate change [such as renewables energy technologies].”
Possible noted that there are both ‘gas pump’ and ‘oil drum’ emojis, adding it hoped Unicode would “reconsider and offer some more climate themed emojis too”.
A RenewableUK spokesperson told Recharge it was “very disappointed” that Unicode has had decided not to include the wind turbine emoji in its lexicon.
“It’s a particularly odd stance given that Unicode's main sponsoring companies include tech giants that are leading private sector advocated for action on climate change. 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,” he said.
“It might sound trivial, but emojis are an important part of how people communicate every day and Unicode are way behind the curve on the public’s concerns over climate change. 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.”