If you weren’t already aware, we are in a climate crisis that is leading to profound global societal and environmental change.
Changes to Earth’s climate driven by increased human emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases are already having widespread effects on the environment: glaciers and ice sheets are shrinking, plant and animal geographic ranges are shifting, and plants and trees are blooming sooner.
Many communities on the front line of the climate crisis, particularly those in Africa, Asia, the Pacific and Latin America, are already facing the devastating consequences of more frequent and intense droughts, floods, cyclones and rising sea levels … effects that have also reached Australia.
This is why the City of Sydney is to be applauded for voting to ban fossil fuel advertising on its properties and events.
The decision was in response to a local campaign for Fossil Ad Bans, similar to international efforts to fight fossil fuel advertisements that keep us invested in a fossil fuel world and prevent regulation of the fossil fuel industry.
The campaign aims to achieve tobacco-style bans on ads and sponsorships for fossil fuels at local, state and federal levels.
The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report said that corporations have attempted to derail climate mitigation by targeted lobbying, doubt-inducing media strategies and through corporate advertising and brand building to deflect corporate responsibility to individuals.
The City of Sydney’s CEO is to investigate restrictions on advertising for fossil fuels for any council controlled signage or property, as well as a ban on accepting sponsorships from companies whose main business was the extraction or sale of coal, oil or gas.
Deputy Lord Mayor Jess Scully said the ban was in line with the council’s commitment to climate-change action.
She is right to argue it’s time to draw a line in the sand and say, “not here” and “no more”. We need climate action now for the sake of the planet and any semblance of life as we know it. If we are to move away from a fossil-fuel dependent economy, we need to get rid of the fossil fuel sector’s whitewashing and self-promotion.