The oil industry has for years tried to portray itself as environmentally friendly, using ad campaigns to distract the public from its continued role as a major contributor to the global climate emergency. Phrases like “net zero” and “carbon neutral” are common aspirations promoted on the social media accounts of BP, Shell and Exxon Mobil.
Environmental groups say such marketing tactics are a prime example of “greenwashing” that is deliberately misleading. In the European Union, campaigners are pushing for a ban on fossil fuel advertising, similar to how some governments regulate tobacco marketing. Climate advocates, who have long criticised the oil industry for fuelling climate denialism, now say the same companies are using marketing campaigns to provide false “green” solutions to the climate emergency.
Fossil fuel companies argue that they have been a key investor in the global transition to renewable energy and that new oil projects are being pursued to meet immediate and growing global energy demands.
In this episode of The Stream, we’ll discuss fossil fuel advertising and its influence on attitudes towards climate action.
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