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France becomes first European country to ban fossil fuel advertising

France becomes first European country to ban fossil fuel advertising

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Adverts promoting fossil fuel products and services have been banned in France under a new climate law.

France has become the first European country to put such a ban in place, and firms will no longer be able to promote petroleum energy products, energy from the combustion of coal mining and hydrogen-containing carbons.

Advertisements for natural gas will still be permitted, but will fall under new rules that will come into effect in June 2023.

Companies that breach the rules could face fines between €20,000 and €100,000, with fines potentially rising to double that amount for repeat offenders.

Financial investments and communication-related sponsorship do not come under the ban and therefore are still legal.

It also remains legal to advertise decarbonised – or ‘blue’ hydrogen, along with fuels that have at least 50% renewable energy content and comply with greenhouse gas emission reduction criteria, and gas supply with 50% biogas content.

Taking to Twitter, Greenpeace France called for the ban to be expanded to cover fossil fuel sponsorship, such as Total’s deal with next year’s Rugby World Cup, which is being hosted by France.

These advertising rules are part of a wider French climate law passed in March, which also placed restrictions on domestic flights, banned new cars emitting more than 95 grams of CO2 per kilometre from 2030, and made ‘ecocide’ a criminal offence.

President Macron, who won a second term with 58.5% of the vote in April, has a goal to make France the first major economy to stop using coal, oil and gas. However, his administration faced criticism by failing to reduce emissions fast enough to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement, which prompted successful legal action last year that resulted in a court ordering the government to strengthen its decarbonisation plans.

See Also

Though France is the first European country to ban fossil fuel adverts, a similar set of regulations was introduced in Amsterdam last year.

The Dutch capital became the world’s first city to prohibit fossil fuel companies and the aviation industry from advertising in subway stations or around the city centre.

The city of Sydney in Australia is now looking to follow this example.

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