ClientEarth launches criticism towards BP’s local weather greenwashing adverts

Right this moment ClientEarth made a world-first criticism towards BP, claiming the oil large’s newest promoting marketing campaign is deceptive customers about its deal with low carbon vitality.

We’re additionally calling for all promoting by fossil gas corporations to be banned, until it comes with a tobacco-style well being warning about risks to the planet and other people.

BP has spent tens of millions of kilos on its present promoting marketing campaign, suggesting it’s quickly transitioning its enterprise to low-carbon vitality. We predict that is greenwashing.

If you happen to dig a bit of deeper, you’ll discover that BP’s enterprise mannequin continues to be fossil-based with over 96% of the corporate’s annual spend on oil and gasoline. The emissions from burning BP’s merchandise make it one of many world’s largest contributors to greenhouse gasoline emissions that trigger local weather change.

Our criticism: What’s flawed with BP’s advertisements

Our criticism focuses on BP’s ‘Hold Advancing’ and ‘Potentialities In every single place’ advert campaigns. Whether or not you’re within the UK, US or Europe, you’ve in all probability seen these advertisements in prepare stations, on TV or on social media. That’s as a result of they’re a part of BP’s largest advertising blitz in a decade.

Within the advertisements, the oil large claims it’s “working to get vitality that’s cleaner and higher” and producing “cleaner-burning pure gasoline”. Briefly, BP claims to be altering its enterprise and needs you to assume that it’s a part of the local weather resolution.

ClientEarth local weather accountability lead Sophie Marjanac mentioned: “BP is spending tens of millions on promoting to offer the impression that it’s racing to renewables, that its gasoline is cleaner, and that it’s a part of the local weather resolution.”

BP is an oil and gasoline large and traditionally the fifth most polluting fossil gas firm on this planet. However individuals seeing these advertisements could conclude that the corporate is transferring its enterprise to wash vitality. We predict that’s flawed.

We’re demanding that BP pulls its advertisements as a result of they’re deceptive. Claiming environmental credentials with out considerably lowering its fossil gas manufacturing is greenwashing. And that goes towards the OECD guidelines on deceptive and misleading claims. Now we have submitted a file of greater than a 100 pages of proof to the UK Nationwide Contact Level for the OECD Pointers – which handles complaints like these – detailing why we expect BP’s advertisements are breaking these guidelines.

Gasoline shouldn’t be inexperienced, it’s a fossil gas

In our criticism, we’re additionally questioning the accuracy of BP’s statements round gasoline – which it describes as “cleaner burning” – in addition to the corporate’s declare that gasoline at the moment performs solely a supporting backup function on energy grids, moderately than displacing potential renewable vitality era.

Fossil gas corporations have touted gasoline as a ‘bridge’ gas to ease into the transition to cleaner vitality. However make no mistake – gasoline is a fossil gas and a supply of greenhouse emissions. It’s primarily made up of methane that causes international warming when it leaks into the environment, and emits carbon dioxide when it’s burnt. Main evaluation reveals that extracting extra gasoline to burn is incompatible with the Paris Settlement, and that simpler and reasonably priced renewable options exist already.

Promoting: Fossil fuels are the brand new tobacco

Sophie added: “Up to now, tobacco corporations had been in a position to mislead the general public in regards to the security of their merchandise. We see actual parallels with fossil gas corporations and the tobacco business, which knew in regards to the dangers their merchandise posed however used deceptive advertising campaigns to promote them regardless.”

The tobacco-style well being warning we need to see on all fossil gas advertisements ought to quote the IPCC’s warning in regards to the risks of continuous to extract and burn fossil fuels. This may be certain the general public shouldn’t be misled, and fossil gas corporations are accountable for the injury they do.

We acknowledge the help of college students on the Emmett Environmental Legislation and Coverage Clinic at Harvard Legislation College within the preparation of this criticism.

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