‘Hypocrisy’: Australian drive to ban fossil fuel ads launched


Billboards have gone up this week in Sydney and Melbourne advocating fossil fuel companies no longer be able to market themselves unrestricted in Australia given the proven health impacts of their products.

Comms Declare, the group of climate advocate advertising professionals behind the Fossil Ad Ban campaign, estimate around $238 million is spent each year on marketing and sponsorships from companies like Ampol, AGL, Origin, Santos and Energy Australia.

It argues all levels of government should ban fossil fuel advertising in Australia, just as has been done with industries like tobacco, gambling, and alcohol which have negative impacts on consumers. It labelled the continued allowance of fossil advertising “hypocrisy.”

The campaign has been supported by the Australian Healthcare and Hospital Association, Australasian Epidemiological Association, Australian Federation of Medical Women, Medical Scientists Association of Victoria, Doctors for the Environment Australia and more.

As part of the campaign, an open letter signed by 195 health professionals was sent to prime minister Anthony Albanese and every mayor in Australia on Monday calling on the leaders to follow Melbourne’s Yarra City Council, which in March became the first council restrict the promotion of fossil fuels on council-run property.

“Advertising fossil fuels serves no purpose other than to increase demand for the products that are driving climate change and harming our community,” the open letter reads.

The campaign follows similar moves which have taken off internationally, with over a quarter of a million people signing the European Citizen’s Initiative to ban fossil fuel ads and sponsorships.

Comms Declare founder Belinda Noble said banning fossil fuel advertising is an obvious next step for leaders to acknowledge the significant health impacts of climate change, which is expected to cause around 83 million human deaths by 2100 if urgent action isn’t taken.

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