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Worldwide initiatives to ban fossil fuel advertisements

At 12-12-2020, the Paris Agreement was 5 years old. And still, the fossil fuel industry is 99% coal, oil and gas.
But their advertisements are 99% about children, windmills and butterflies. 
Right, that’s only words. But words can do a lot of harm. 

Big Oil would not invest millions on advertising if it would not benefit them. Their words keep us invested in a fossil fuel world, while we need to stop burning coal, oil and gas. That’s why people have recently started fighting fossil fuel ads. All over the world.

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)

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

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

NL – Two political parties adopted a ban on fossil fuel ads in their election program (March 2021). Three more may follow.

City council initiatives on a ban on fossil fuel ads​

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.  

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

Organisations that ban fossil fuel ads

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

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

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

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

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

Calls for newspapers to drop fossil fuel ads

BE – Politico should drop its branded content for Shell

(Court) cases against fossil fuel ads

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​

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.