City Of Sydney Votes To End Fossil Fuel Advertising And Sponsorships!

Sep 23, 2022by Olivia Harper - F&F

Ads that promote coal, oil, and gas might soon be banned from hundreds of buildings and public spaces in the City of Sydney! Sydney is the second major city in the world, after Amsterdam, to consider a ban on advertising for unhealthy, high-emissions coal, petroleum, and ‘natural’ gas. Continue reading to find out more about this vote!

Fossil Fuel ProductionFossil Fuel Production

Image: Mika Baumeister / Unsplash

Moving Away From A Fossil-Fuel Dependent Economy

The City of Sydney councilors have voted to prevent coal, oil, and gas from being promoted on council-run properties and infrastructure, quoting harmful effects on human health, the environment, and climate.

Jess Scully, Deputy Lord Mayor who declared a climate emergency in 2019, told the meeting;

“I think this is the moment we can draw a line in the sand and say ‘not here’ and ‘no more’ because we know that the people of the City of Sydney do want climate action, they do want us to move away from a fossil-fuel dependent economy and they do know that to do that we need to get rid of the whitewashing, get rid of the self-promotion that the sector is doing.”

Burning Fossil FuelsBurning Fossil Fuels

Image: Chris Leboutillier / Unsplash

Communications Professionals Want A Tobacco-Style National Ban!

Cr Scully requested an investigation into restricting fossil fuel ads, comparing the health effects of fossil fuels to tobacco products. Studies have found that air pollution from burning fossil fuels takes between 2,616 and 5,700 lives in Australia every year – more than road accidents!

Globally, air pollution from burning fossil fuels claims more lives than smoking. If Sydney were to proceed with this ban, it would be the biggest win so far for a campaign to stop advertising fossil fuel companies, similar to anti-tobacco advertising laws.

France has adopted a nationwide ban on fossil fuel ads and Amsterdam in the Netherlands prohibits such ads on public transport. Hopefully, Sydney may be next!

Petrol Station Sydney Fossil Fuel Ad BanPetrol Station Sydney Fossil Fuel Ad Ban

Image: Thomas Zsebok / Canva

There Are More Fossil Fuel Messages In Our Day-To-Day Lives Than We Realise

Currently, Sydney has one of the largest outdoor advertising networks in the world. From ads promoting petrol-guzzling cars to those selling gas-heated swimming pools, fossil fuel messaging is boundless.

Comms Declare co-founder Belinda Noble said, “people don't realise how many fossil fuel messages there are in their day-to-day lives.” When you take a closer look — they’re indeed everywhere!

Ms Noble said momentum is growing and expects more councils to follow in Sydney's footsteps. “I look forward to working with the City of Sydney to help implement these restrictions and hope other Australian cities and councils will similarly prioritise the health and wellbeing of their communities by preventing the promotion of pollution.”

This is phenomenal news coming from Sydney, Australia! We think this is a significant step for the country in moving away from fossil fuels and better serving human health and the environment.

To read about more inspiring sustainability initiatives happening all around the world, keep an eye on our Eco News category for more stories and check out the blogs below!

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