UN chief calls on governments to ban fossil fuel ads

António Guterres says many nations have already banned tobacco advertising and should do the same for fossil fuels, reining in “the Godfathers of climate chaos”.

The head of the United Nations, António Guterres, has for the first time called on governments to ban fossil fuel companies from advertising, as many have already done with the tobacco industry.
In a speech to mark World Environment Day at the American Museum of Natural History in Washington DC, he said that “many in the fossil fuel industry have shamelessly greenwashed, even as they have sought to delay climate action – with lobbying, legal threats and massive ad campaigns”.
“I urge every country to ban advertising from fossil fuel companies,” he said on Wednesday, adding that many governments already ban or restrict tobacco advertising – and that “some are now doing the same with fossil fuels”.
In 2022, France banned adverts for some fossil fuel products, and similar laws are being discussed in Canada and Ireland. The Dutch city of Amsterdam has banned fossil fuel adverts and the Scottish capital Edinburgh is set to do the same.
Guterres described the fossil fuel industry as “the Godfathers of climate chaos”, raking in record profits and feasting off trillions in taxpayer-funded subsidies. Meanwhile the oil and gas industry last year invested “a measly 2.5 percent” of its total capital spending on clean energy, he added.
“Mad Men fuelling madness”
The UN Secretary-General said fossil fuel companies “have been aided and abetted by advertising and [public relations] companies, Mad Men – remember the TV series – fuelling the madness”.
He called on them to “stop acting as enablers to planetary destruction” by refusing new fossil fuel clients and setting out plans to drop existing ones.
According to sector campaign group Clean Creatives, nearly 300 advertising and PR agencies held contracts with fossil fuel firms between 2022 and 2023.
Subsidiaries of the British company WPP had the highest number of fossil fuel contracts – 55 – despite having a pledge to reach net zero by 2030. Their clients include oil and gas giants Saudi Aramco, Equinor and BP.
On the other hand, more than 1,100 organisations in advertising and publicity have pledged to cut ties with fossil fuel companies and decline any contracts with them in future...
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  • Boniface Kuria

    6 d

    Some cities in Europe are already implementing this ban

    • Climate Home News

      5 d

      @boniface_kuria Fantastic news! They are pioneering change in our societies

    • Grace Njeri

      6 d

      In support of this.

      • Jane Kamau

        6 d

        Good one

        • Ann Nyambura

          6 d

          Banning fossil fuel ads, just like tobacco ads, makes perfect sense.

        • Princess

          6 d

          It's encouraging to see countries like France, Canada, and Ireland considering similar bans, along with cities like Amsterdam and Edinburgh taking decisive action.

          • Joseph Githinji

            6 d

            @princess_nel_268 banning fossil fuels promotions is a great win for the environment, this is the way to go.

          • Patrick Kiash

            6 d

            That's an awesome call. It's encouraging to note that over 1,100 organisations have pledged to cut ties with fossil fuel companies.

            • Joseph Githinji

              6 d

              @patrick_kiash this is a great step towards ending fossil fuels reliance.

            • Meeloun Education

              1 w

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              • Annett Michuki..

                1 w

                I support this

                • Kihm Francis

                  1 w

                  right call

                  • Ingmar Rentzhog

                    1 w


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