Amsterdam banning advertising for fossil fuel products (eg. flights) from the subway stations
Adverts for ‘fossil fuel products’, such as air travel and cars that run on fossil fuels, will no longer be seen in the subway stations in Amsterdam. Amsterdam is the first city in the world that wants to keep fossil fuel advertising out of the streets. Never before has a city taken the decision to ban advertising solely on the basis of climate change. The agreement about advertisements in the metro stations is the municipality’s first step towards making advertising in Amsterdam fossil-free. The Dutch campaign, Reclame Fossielvrij (Fossil Free Advertising), which strives for a nationwide ban in the Netherlands on advertising by the fossil fuel industry and advertising for polluting transport, congratulated Amsterdam and calls it an important step. Some other Dutch cities, The Hague, Utrecht and Nijmegen have said they were “open to a ban on fossil fuel advertising.” Motions have also been filed in Canada, England (we have the Badvertising campaign), Sweden and Finland. Fossil Free Advertising strives for a nationwide ‘tobacco-style law’ for the fossil fuel industry, to change public attitudes – as happened with smoking.
First step: Amsterdam is banning advertising for fossil fuel products from the subway stations
3 MEI 2021
(Verbied Fossiele Reclame – Dutch website)
First step to keep all fossil fuel advertising out of Amsterdam’s streets
As of today, advertisements for ‘fossil fuel products’, such as air travel and cars that run on fossil fuels, will no longer be seen in the subway stations in Amsterdam. Alderman Marieke van Doorninck (Sustainability) and Radjen van Wilsem, CEO of CS Digital Media, will sign an agreement at 12.45 hours at Amsterdam Central Station. Amsterdam is the first city in the world that wants to keep fossil fuel advertising out of the streets.
Never before has a city taken the decision to ban advertising solely on the basis of climate change. The agreement about advertisements in the metro stations is the municipality’s first step towards making advertising in Amsterdam fossil-free. The capital is still investigating how to ban advertising and marketing (festivals) of fossil fuel companies such as Shell and Exxon.
“The need to combat climate change should also be reflected in the street,” said Alderman Marieke van Doorninck in the 7:45 am news this morning on NPO Radio 1. “Also in advertising. That is why we want to ban fossil advertising in Amsterdam. The subway stations are now taking the 1st step. We also enter into discussions with other operators. But to arrange this properly, a national ban is needed. ”
Reclame Fossielvrij (Fossil Free Advertising), which strives for a nationwide ban in the Netherlands on advertising by the fossil fuel industry and advertising for polluting transport, congratulates Amsterdam and calls it an important step. Coordinator Femke Sleegers: “The decision to ban fossil fuel advertising from the subway stations comes at a crucial moment in the fight against climate change. We don’t have any time to lose towards the Paris climate goals. Advertisements that portray fossil fuels as normal and aggravate climate disruption have no place in a city or country that has complied to Paris.”
Amsterdam’s motion to ban fossil advertising had national and international spin off. In answers to written questions the city boards of The Hague, Utrecht and Nijmegen stated that they were open to a ban on fossil fuel advertising, although the latter two cities believe that such a ban must be regulated with a national ban. Motions have also been filed abroad in Canada, England, Sweden and Finland. The New York City government takes a different approach and tries to enforce a court ban on misleading advertising from Shell, BP, Exxon and the American Petroleum Institute.
Letter by 51 organisations
The wish to ban fossil fuel advertising was put forward in a motion that passed in the Amsterdam city council last December. The motion followed after Reclame Fossielvrij and 51 organizations from Amsterdam sent a letter that called on the city to ban advertising that doesn’t fit in with its sustainability policy. Previously public transport company GVB had decided to sharpen its advertising policy in order to keep greenwashing advertisements out of its buses, trams, metros and ferries, after a call for this by Extinction Rebellion Amsterdam.
Tobacco-style law for fossil fuel industry
Fossil Free Advertising strives for a nationwide ‘tobacco-style law’ for the fossil fuel industry. The advertising ban for the tobacco industry was an indispensable step in the fight against smoking. It changed social norms and removed temptation. The same approach is needed for the fossil fuel industry, argues the campaign group.
Green Party calls for end of adverts for “high carbon” goods & services – eg. SUVs and long-haul flights
At their party conference, members of the Green Party of England & Wales backed an ambitious climate motion to ban advertising for high carbon goods and services, eg. SUVs and long haul flights. This brings it into official Party policy. They want advertising rules to be brought into the 21st century. “This will spark a long overdue conversation about the role of advertising in our lives” says Green Party peer Natalie Bennett. There are already many restrictions on advertising on products which are socially and physically harmful, such as tobacco which was banned from being advertised and promoted in the UK since 2003. There is good evidence that this tobacco advert ban was effective, awareness about smoking rose, and levels of smoking fell. In August 2020, the ‘Badvertising’ campaign called for adverts for SUVs to be banned, noting that such vehicles make up more than 40% of new cars now sold in the UK, while fully electric vehicles count for less than 2%. We need to stop adverts for products that trash the planet, needlessly encouraging the sale of more of them.
The Badvertising campaign:
Fossil fuel companies, car companies and airlines spend billions each year advertising their high carbon products – despite growing public concerns over air pollution and climate breakdown.
Petition at https://e-activist.com/page/66459/petition/1