en English af Afrikaans sq Albanian ar Arabic hy Armenian az Azerbaijani eu Basque be Belarusian bg Bulgarian ca Catalan zh-CN Chinese (Simplified) zh-TW Chinese (Traditional) hr Croatian cs Czech da Danish nl Dutch et Estonian tl Filipino fi Finnish fr French gl Galician ka Georgian de German el Greek ht Haitian Creole iw Hebrew hi Hindi hu Hungarian is Icelandic id Indonesian ga Irish it Italian ja Japanese ko Korean lv Latvian lt Lithuanian mk Macedonian ms Malay mt Maltese no Norwegian fa Persian pl Polish pt Portuguese ro Romanian ru Russian sr Serbian sk Slovak sl Slovenian es Spanish sw Swahili sv Swedish th Thai tr Turkish uk Ukrainian ur Urdu vi Vietnamese cy Welsh yi Yiddish
Open Translation

CONCORD, NH: A project by PR and advertising professionals to highlight agencies greenwashing the climate crisis has published an ‘F-List’ of 500 fossil fuel contracts from 294 different PR and advertising agencies worldwide, including 103 in Asia.

Created to expose companies that knowingly work against scientific consensus, the list includes agencies in Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.

Of the 103 contracts between 2022 and 2023, 58 were for national/regional oil and gas companies and 45 for large global companies. Indonesia had 15 from four agencies and India 11 from 11.

Project author Clean Creatives says campaigns by major polluters can be grouped into two categories: encouraging customers to buy more and ‘purpose washing’ to persuade people to believe they are doing good.

Case studies show how Shell, Caltex (Chevron) and Denko buy loyalty through prize giveaways for items including a Porsche, gold bars, BMW motorbikes and cash; how companies like telecommunications giant PTT purpose wash via CSR efforts by planting mangroves instead of taking responsibility for their multiple oil spills; and how Big Oil companies use TikTok to appeal to younger generations and organise eco-runs where consumers must purchase fuel before entering.

"Asia has a complicated relationship with fossil fuels,” says Clean Creatives Research Director Nayantara Dutta. “The oil and gas industry has created growth and opportunity for many people while, at the same time, putting the most climate-vulnerable region at deeper risk. In Asia, fossil fuel campaigns can be especially insidious and manipulative, leading to mis-education and making people believe that climate change is their personal responsibility.”

The pressure group has also identified trade associations exerting their members’ influence over consumers. In the U.S. they include the American Petroleum Institute, American Coal Council, American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, Coal-to-Liquids Coalition, Coal Utilization Research Council, Lignite Energy Council, National Council of Coal Lessors, National Mining Association, World Coal Association as well as U.S. state-based coal associations.

In 2022, over 450 scientists signed a letter calling on PR and advertising agencies to stop working with fossil fuel companies and spreading climate disinformation.

“We climate scientists have been trying to raise the climate crisis alarm for decades, but we've been drowned out by these fossil fuel industry-funded PR campaigns,” says climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann. “Greenwashing is a primary tactic in what I call the 'New War’ on climate action and it must be called out for what it is - denial under another name.”

The open letter, in partnership with Clean Creatives and the Union of Concerned Scientists, says scientists are constantly faced with advertising and PR efforts from fossil fuel companies trying to obfuscate or downplay their data.

“For decades, fossil fuel companies have used greenwashing campaigns to hide from public accountability and attack climate scientists who speak the truth,” explains Dr. Gary Yohe, Huffington Foundation professor of Economics and Environmental Studies, Emeritus, at Wesleyan University.

“PR and advertising agencies that support greenwashing hold major responsibility for letting the climate crisis get this far. I hope this letter will serve as a wakeup call for them to preserve their credibility by ending their complicity.”

Yohe is a senior author for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and served as vice-Chair of the third US National Climate Assessment.

“Scientists have been sounding the climate alarm for decades, but they’ve been drowned out by billions of dollars of PR and advertising from the fossil fuel industry,” notes Jamie Henn, the director of Fossil Free Media, home of the Clean Creatives campaign. “Now, scientists are saying enough is enough. The pollution of our airwaves is inextricably tied to the pollution of our atmosphere. The only way to clean up both is to stop this propaganda at the source: the PR and ad agencies that continue to work on behalf of fossil fuels. It’s time for creatives to come clean.”

One way they can do that is to ask themselves a simple question before they act: Is it true, is it necessary, is it kind?
Story Type: News

Vote for my Story

Our Rating: 9% - 1 votes

1000 Characters left

Latest News

December 01, 2023
People Editor

Fossil fuel subsidies in 82 countries rose to US$1.5 trillion in 2022.

DUBAI: Governments in 82 economies subsidised fossil fuels at a cost of US1.5 trillion in 2022 – up from US$769.5 billion the previous year. Data from the OECD and IEA indicate the offset was due to exceptionally high energy prices prompted “in part” by…
December 01, 2023
Transportation Editor

Major shipping lines call on UN regulator to ban fossil fuel

DUBAI: The heads of major European-based shipping lines have called for an end to fossil-fuel powered newbuilds and urged the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to accelerate the industry's transition to green fuels. The CEOs of A.P. Moller – Maersk,…
November 29, 2023
People Editor

COP 28 sponsors ranked for ethics

DUBAI, UAE: Spendwell, an independent information company enabling individuals to make ethical choices when buying goods or services from corporations, has ranked the 24 official sponsors of COP 28 in Dubai, UAE: The report, based on independently verifiable…
November 29, 2023
Biodiversity Editor

Third U.N. Plastics treaty talks end without deal

NAIROBI: The third session of the United Nations Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Plastic Pollution, or INC-3, ended without any concrete language or decisions on combatting plastic pollution. The delegates couldn’t even agree on what to do prior to…
November 28, 2023
Emissions Editor

You can’t have it both ways IEA tells oil and gas companies

PARIS: The International Energy Agency (IEA) says the oil and gas sector - including COP 28 president and simultaneously CEO of the Abu Dhabi Oil Company (ADNOC) Sultan Al Jaber - is faced with taking responsibility for a worsening climate crisis or…
November 27, 2023
Energy Editor

Maersk sources ‘green’ fuel from China

COPENHAGEN: Chinese energy developer Goldwind is to supply A.P. Moller - Maersk with 500,000 tonnes annually of ‘green’ bio-methanol and e-methanol. First volumes are expected in 2026 utilising wind energy to produce the new fuel from a facility in Hinggan…
November 20, 2023
Emissions Editor

UN warns governments: cut emissions now or face global warming of 2.5˚C-2.9°C

NEW YORK/NAIROBI: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) says the lack of government action to reduce global warming is leading to a 2.5˚C-2.9°C rise in temperatures above pre-industrial levels this century. The latest UN Emissions Gap Report provides an annual,…
November 17, 2023
Energy Editor

No sign of decline in fossil fuel expansion

BERLIN, Germany: Urgewald, a non-profit coal research group, and more than 50 NGO partners has published the second update of the Global Oil & Gas Exit List https://gogel.org/ The public database provides a breakdown of the activities of 1,623 companies…
November 17, 2023
Emissions Editor

The hottest 12 months in recorded history

PRINCETON, NJ: In a prelude to COP28, a report by Climate Central scientists estimate that the global average temperature between November 1, 2022 and October 31, 2023 was 1.32°C above the pre-industrial baseline – the hottest 12 months in recorded history.…
November 16, 2023
Transportation Editor

COVID-19 lessons for managing climate change

WASHINGTON, DC: According to the U.S. government’s Fifth National Climate Assessment, mandated by Congress to determine climate change impacts, risks and responses, the initial cost of COVID-19 to the U.S. from lost economic output and reduced health was…
November 15, 2023
Transportation Editor

DHL turns green

BONN: DHL Supply Chain is introducing a green transport policy to provide its stakeholder guidance on the most sustainable power alternative based on availability, infrastructure and cost-per-market. Over the next three years the DHL division will invest €200…
November 13, 2023
Energy Editor

Cambridge University develops sustainable energy alternative to fossil fuels

CAMBRIDGE, UK: Cambridge University researchers have developed floating ‘artificial leaves’ that can generate clean fuels from sunlight and water as efficiently as plant leaves. Published in the journal Nature, the study shows it is possible to develop…

We are using cookies

By continuing you are agreeing to our use of cookies

I understand