Lords call for ads restrictions on ‘high carbon products’

Lords call for ads restrictions on ‘high carbon products’

The House of Lords has published a report recommending advertising for high carbon or environmentally damaging products should be “restricted”.

The report, entitled In our hands: behaviour change for climate and environmental goals, published by the House of Lords’ Environment and Climate Change Committee, made a range of recommendations around advertising and climate responsibility including:

  • improving the prevalence of positive environmental behaviours
  • doing more to counter “green-washing”
  • regulating advertising on advertising for high-carbon and environmentally damaging products more strictly

This would help build consumer trust, promote more climate-friendly behaviours, ensure companies are following clear definitions and rules around green-washing and environmental terms in the marketing and labelling of products, the report said. Products including SUVs were cited as examples of high-carbon products.

Additionally, specific reference was made to the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) “Green Claims Code” and advice from the Advertising Standards Agency on advertising regulation “doing its part” to reach climate goals.

The report was welcomed by campaigners who have argued that advertising has a direct impact on the climate and should be regulated more strongly. Robbie Gillett, a campaigner at Badvertising, said: “For too long, corporations have downplayed or outright misled consumers on the exact impact of their products and services.

“Just as we did for tobacco, we need to stop advertising polluting products that are harming our health and our planet and move beyond the culture of hyperconsumerism that advertising promotes.”

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