A proposed new NSW law would ban fossil fuel advertising, putting it on par with tobacco.
The NSW Greens say the move is in recognition of the “huge and destructive contribution fossil fuel companies make” to the ”public health crisis” caused by climate change.
“It’s wrong that these companies that are causing so much damage and who are behind the terrible climate disasters we’re now continually facing are able to run public advertising campaigns showing wind turbines and solar panels or to have their names on the uniforms of our children’s sports teams,” upper house MP Sue Higginson said.
Ms Higginson said she would introduce the Public Health and Safety (Fossil Fuel Advertising) Bill 2022, which “aims to introduce a tobacco-style ban for fossil fuel companies, citing public health concerns as a key reason that fossil fuel companies should be prevented from being able to advertise”.
A Greens media release cited a tobacco ban campaigner who said the health impact of smoking was “chicken feed” compared to the threat of climate change.
“Tobacco advertising is banned in most nations because smoking kills two in every three of its long-term users: eight million people a year worldwide,” Sydney School of Public Health professor Simon Chapman was quoted as saying.
“But this number is chicken feed when we consider the existential threat to generations to come of unabated climate change this century caused by frequent extreme weather events, crop failure, conflict caused by population displacement and more.”
Ms Higginson said the move was inspired by the climate PR agency Comms Declare.
“Advertising self-regulation has failed to protect the public, and a ban on fossil fuel advertising is the only way we can effectively and quickly stamp out greenwashing and misinformation,” Comms Declare founder Belinda Noble said.