France Becomes First European Country to Ban Fossil Fuel Adverts

The French Government has enacted a ban on adverts for fossil fuels, outlawing natural gas ads from the beginning of 2023.

The proposal emerged from a 2019 convention on climate change, comprised of 150 citizens whose names were drawn out of a hat.

They called for a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared with 1990 levels. President Macron promised to implement the proposals, having pledged to place the environment at the heart of his second term in office.

But the ban has been criticized by environmental campaigners who view it as a piecemeal reform, a compromised version of the initial proposal to outlaw all forms of advertising by oil companies.

Those corporations will still be allowed to advertise under the new law, as long as the fuels in question contain some amount of renewable energy. Greenpeace accused Macron of political greenwashing, arguing that oil giant TotalEnergies’ sponsorship of the 2023 Rugby World Cup is allowed to go unchecked.

Businesses have also attacked the timing of the ban, according to The Times, coming as it does in the middle of a cost of living crisis. “If we have a reduction in the price of petrol, it’s a bit stupid if we can’t tell anyone,” said Édouard Leclerc, chairman of Leclerc supermarkets.

Meanwhile, the Higher Council for the Climate reported that the transport sector was responsible for 30 percent of France’s greenhouse gas emissions. Last year electric vehicles accounted for 9.8 percent of sales, compared with 11.6 percent in the UK.

“France’s response to global warming is progressing but remains insufficient,” said the authority, which was created by Macron to monitor the nation’s climate progress.