France bans fossil fuel advertising


France yesterday announced a ban on advertising for all energy products related to fossil fuels.

Companies will no longer be able to promote petroleum energy products, energy from the combustion of coal mines and carbons containing hydrogen.

Advertising for natural gas is still allowed, however, but will come under the new rules in June next year.

The US-based Climate Accountability Institute reported that fossil fuel companies are among the top carbon polluters and make millions in profits while promoting the sale of coal and gas.

There have been calls for such a ban, and last year Greenpeace, alongside 20 other environmental organizations, called on the European Union to ban fossil fuel advertisements.

This ban on advertising in France was included in the climate law adopted by parliament in August 2021, aimed at putting in place stricter regulations in order to reduce energy consumption and promote renewable energies.

Financial investments and sponsorship related to communication are not prohibited and therefore remain legal.

It is also legal to advertise carbon-free hydrogen, fuels containing at least 50% renewable energy and meeting the criteria for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and the supply of gases containing 50% biogas.

Breaking this new law can lead to a fine of €20,000 to €100,000 and repeat offenders may have to pay double the amount.

Sydney votes on ban

The City of Sydney also held a vote last night to ban fossil fuel advertising, becoming the first jurisdiction in New South Wales to do so.

Victoria, Yarra City Council and Moreland City Council have both voted on how they should go about banning fossil fuel advertising in April and July respectively.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore has been asked to write to both Federal Communications Minister Michelle Rowland and outgoing New South Wales Minister for Digital Government Victor Dominello to create restrictions at the federal and state levels.

Sydney’s chief executive has been asked to ‘investigate the implementation of restrictions on fossil fuel advertising for any signage or council-controlled property, as well as a ban on accepting sponsorships from ‘enterprises whose principal activity is the extraction or sale of coal, oil or gas.’

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