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Worldwide initiatives to ban fossil fuel advertisements

The louder the call for climate policy, the more fossil fuel industry advertises.

Their advertisements keep us invested in a fossil fuel world. They’re meant to prevent regulation to their industry. That’s why people have recently started fighting fossil fuel ads. All over the world. We keep this page updated.

Do you know of an initiative that’s missing? Please let us know!

Laws that ban fossil fuel ads

FR – On February 10th, French parliament has proposed a law that bans ads for fossil fuel energy, like gasoline.

Campaigns for a law that bans fossil fuel ads

NL – Campaign for a tobacco style law that bans ads for big oil, air travel and cars with fossil fuel engines. (Bi-lingual website, switch languages for English)

UK – ClientEarth pleas for a nationwide ban on greenwashing in the UK, when fossil fuel companies refuse to put a warning on their ads.

Canada – Campaign for a tobacco style law that bans ads for big oil, air travel and cars with fossil fuel engines. And they ask to re-direct fossil fuel money used for marketing into an unbranded fund that helps the transition.

UK – Campaign to ban SUV-ads

FR – A citizen’s assembly proposal to ban billboards that advertise for high carbon products (ie SUVs).

Parliamentary initiatives for a law that bans fossil fuel ads

NL – Six political parties (ChristenUnie, GroenLinks, PvdA, Partij voor de Dieren, BIJ1 and NIDA) adopted a ban on fossil fuel ads in their election program (March 2021). One more may follow.

B – A proposal for a law that bans ads for SUVs by Ecoli-Groen & cdH

City council initiatives on a ban on fossil fuel ads​

USA – New York City files consumer protection lawsuit against Exxon, Shell  BP and American Petroleum Institute to ban false advertising and deceptive trade practices in the city.

NL – City of Amsterdam. On december 17th the majority of the city council in Amsterdam has decided it wants a ban on all fossil fuel ads and fossil fuel (kids) festivals in public space.  On May 3rd Amsterdam took the first step and banned ads for cheap tickets and polluting cars from the subwaystations.

FI – In the city council of Helsinki a motion was presented to ban all fossil fuel advertisements.

UK – City Council of Liverpool wants a ban on fossil fuel advertisements and explores how it can be done.

UK – Adblock Leeds launched a campaign in Leeds to follow the Amsterdam example

UK – Adblock Bristol launched a petition in Bristol to follow the Amsterdam example

SW – City of Stockholm. Vice Mayor for climate and environment Katarina Luhr pleas for an Amsterdam style ban of fossil fuel ads in the city

SW – City of Göteborg. Three parties plea for an Amsterdam style ban of fossil fuel ads in the city

CA – City of Regina, Saskatchewan. Councillor Daniel LeBlanc proposed a motion to ban fossil fuel ads. He encountered such fierce opposition, including threats, that he withdrew support.

NL – City of Rotterdam. Party for the Animals wants a ban of fossil fuel ads

NL – City of The HagueThree parties state they want a ban of fossil fuel ads

NL – City of UtrechtParty for the Animals wants a ban of fossil fuel ads

NL – City of Nijmegen. GroenLinks and Party for the Animals wants a ban of fossil fuel ads

NL – City of Zwolle. GroenLinks wants a ban of fossil fuel ads

NL – City of Waalre. Local climate group started a petition to ban fossil fuel ads

Media that ban fossil fuel ads

SW – The newspaper Dagens Nyheter (2nd newspaper of Sweden) has restricted fossil fuel ads.

SW – The newspaper Dagens ETC bans all fossil fuel advertisements: big oil, air travel, fossil fueled cars. 

UK – The Guardian bans all advertisements for big oil.

UK – British Medical Journal: all ads and scientific papers paid by fossil fuel industry

Calls for newspapers to drop fossil fuel ads

Multiple climate organizations call for publishers of German newspapers to stop fossil fuel advertising. Tagenszeitung is already seriously considering to quit fossil fuel ads.

BE – Politico should drop its branded content for Shell

Agencies that refuse to make fossil fuel ads

Australia – Commucation professionals declare not to work for fossil fuel industry: CommsDeclare

USA – Advertisement agencies refuse to work for fossil fuel industry: Clean Creatives

UK – Advertisement agencies take responsibility for the effects of their work: The Great Reset.

Public Transport that bans fossil fuel ads

USA – Campaigners from Sierra Club ask King County (Washington State) wants to ban fossil fuel ads from public transport

NL – Amsterdam public transport agency GVB: Shell greenwashing, maybe more

(Court) cases against fossil fuel ads

USA – New York City files consumer protection lawsuit against Exxon, Shell  BP and American Petroleum Institute for false advertising and deceptive trade practices.

NL – Nine law students file a 95-page complaint about Shell’s advertising for CO2-compensation at the Reclame Code Commissie (Dutch Advertising Authority).

USA – Unprecedented complaint files at US Federal Trade Commission against misleading advertisements by Chevron. Filed by Global Witness, Greenpeace USA and Earthworks.

NL – Milieudefensie vs Shell. Fossil Fuel advertisements are presented as evidence for hampering climate policy.

USA – More than 20 cities in the US, ao Washington DC, sue Shell, Exxon, BP and Chevron for misleading their citizens. Also with their advertisements. Make the Future is part of the evidence.

USA – Beyond Pesticides sues Exxon for misleading claims in advertisements about green investments.

IT – Oil major ENI slapped with €5m fine for greenwashing palm oil diesel

NGO reports on how advertising harms climate action

Badvertising – Smoking out the Climate – lessons from the advertising ban on tobacco for climate emergency

Greenpeace France: Pour Une Loi Evin Climat

Scientific research about advertising and climate change​

All fossil fuel ads are misleading, because they serve to normalise an extremely harmful product and industry. That’s why a total ban, like the ban on tobacco is the best regulatory solution. Journal for European Consumer and Market Law

A ban on fossil fuel advertising is identified as social tipping point by the Potsdam Institute

By letting Shell contribute to exhibitions in the NEMO museum, an apparently neutral platform was created where Shell could legitimize its business story.

Childmarketing by fossil fuel industry as a way of obstructing change

Advertising by fossil fuel industry is meant to strengthen lobby / public affairs and influence climate policy according to fossil fuel interests

Research reveals the power inequities surrounding climate discourse by suggesting that wealthy industry trade groups employ a discursive practice of distraction and appropriation of U.S cultural values and mores, essentially shifting public dialogue from climate change and potential environmental policies to how these policies would hurt the industries and adversely affect the average U.S. citizen.

ExxonMobil’s use of a didactic, greenwashed frame stifles criticism and discourages examination of ideologies of consumption by exploiting the ethos of the scientist and highlighting technological solutions to problems that are deeply tied to a culture of consumerism. The definition of green energy is controlled by those with the power to generate persuasive public messages about the sources and production of energy.