What’s wrong with fossil fuels?

  • Air pollution from fossil fuels claims 8.7 million lives each year – more than tobacco.
  • They release toxic pollutants into our air, soil, and waterways.
  • Fossil fuels are the main cause of global warming which is driving more intense and frequent heat waves, storms, bushfires, and droughts.
  • Without urgent action, climate change will cause around 83 million human deaths by 2100. 
  • Australia is the third largest exporter of fossil fuels.
  • Per capita, Australia’s emissions are the highest in the OECD, mainly because of coal and gas.

Why a fossil ad ban?

  • Australia can become a renewables superpower but we are falling behind, in part, because of the disproportionate influence of the fossil fuel industry. 
  • Fossil Fuel advertising pretends that coal, oil and gas are harmless and essential to the Australian lifestyle.
  • These campaigns often spread disinformation, help drown out alternative information and distort politics.
  • The fossil ad ban reduces fossil fuel soft power by denying access to council-owned properties and events. 
  • It sends a powerful message that high-carbon products are harming us – just like cigarettes.

Why councils should act

  • The fossil ad ban is an easy, inexpensive way to turn your council’s climate pledges into concrete action.
  • Stopping the promotion of high carbon products, reduces demand and leads to a reduction in emissions.
  • Being a first mover in restricting fossil fuel advertising and sponsorships is a positive news story that enhances your environmental leadership. 
  • It reduces the reputational risk that might stem from an association with fossil fuels.

Who else is looking at this issue?

  • Yarra Council has unanimously approved a motion to explore a fossil ad ban on its property
  • France has banned ads for all fossil fuel energies 
  • Amsterdam banned fossil fuel advertising in the city’s metro network
  • Four UK councils have placed a ban on high carbon ads
  • Other laws are being debated in the EU, Germany, Sweden and Canada
  • In 2022, The Australian Open cut short a three-year sponsorship deal with Santos
  • Woodside was dropped as a name partner at the Perth Fringe Festival in 2021
  • A full list of global initiatives can be found here
  • Read council papers and notices of motion
  • Contact us to speak at your council or to just have a chat


How can we implement the ban, what is affected?

Add ‘fossil fuels’ to the tobacco, gambling, and alcohol restrictions on your advertising, sponsorship and/or events policies. You simply need to add two words to the existing policies.

What if we don’t have advertising sites or sponsorships?

What matters is that council takes a stand on this issue – even if you don’t have ad sites or sponsorship deals that may be immediately affected.

What is banned?

The decision is yours but we recommend taking no advertising or sponsorships from:

  • Coal, gas, and petroleum products
  • Corporations that primarily produce fossil fuels
  • Organisations that generate more than 20% revenue from fossil fuels. 

What isn’t banned?

This ban does not stop any company from giving donations or grants to local groups – it only affects them using those funds for marketing purposes.

It would not affect council operations, such as using fossil fuels for vehicles. It also does not prevent fossil fuel companies using council facilities (such as sports venues) for reasons other than promotion.