France becomes the first European country to ban fossil fuel ads – but does the new law go far enough?
France has become the first European country to ban fossil fuel advertising under a new climate law.
Announced on August 22, the legislation prohibits advertising for all energy-related products. fossil fuels such as petroleum products, energy from the combustion of coal mines and carbons containing hydrogen.
Ads for natural gas are still allowed at the moment, but new rules are expected to be introduced in June next year.
Companies that breach the new law could face fines ranging from €20,000 to €100,000, with repeat offenders paying double the amount.
Does the ban completely ban fossil fuel ads?
The new law comes after campaigners including Greenpeace called on the EU to ban fossil fuel commercialscomparing it to the laws around those that restrict the tobacco industry.
A complete ban on advertisements of oil companies in France was offered as part of a climate change convention in 2019 which involved 150 randomly selected members of the public.
But critics from the same groups initially calling for the ban argued that the new law leaves too much leeway for companies to circumvent it.
“You will read everywhere that advertising for fossil fuels is now prohibited, but it’s not true!” green peace France tweeted after the announcement.
They say gasoline ads can continue as well as ads in other circumstances like event sponsorship.
Others say it goes too far, especially given the current situation in Europe cost of living crisis. Supermarket bosses argued this prevented them from telling customers about lower fuel prices.
“If we have a drop in the price of gasoline, it’s a bit stupid if we can’t tell anyone,” said Edouard Leclerc, president of Leclerc. supermarkets.
Where else have fossil fuel ads been banned?
However France is the first European country to ban fossil fuel advertisements, a similar set of regulations was introduced in amsterdam Last year.
The Dutch the capital has become the first city in the world to ban advertisements from fossil fuel companies as well as those from aviation industry.
This means that fossil fuel vehicles, such as gasoline cars and flights, can no longer be announcement in Amsterdam metro stations or in the city center.
The decision to remove fossil fuel advertising from the city came after a mass movement in the capital led by the Reclame Fossielvrij (Fossil Free Advertising) initiative.
Femke Sleegers, coordinator of Reclame Fossielvrij, said this came “at a crucial time in the fight against climate change. Ads that portray fossil fuels as normal make climate change worse and have no place in a city — or country — that has complied [the Paris Agreement].”
The city of sydney in Australia is now seeking to follow Amsterdam’s lead after its deputy mayor Jess Scully compared the effects of fossil fuels to smoking.
Scully just successfully passed a vote to prevent coaloil and gas to be promoted on city property and at city-sponsored events.