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Blow those bagpipes because the Scottish capital has announced sweeping restrictions on advertising a whole range of climate-polluting products.

Ads for fossil fuel companies, airlines, airports, SUVs, cruise ships and petrol and diesel cars will all be banned from Edinburgh council property and events.

The decision makes Edinburgh the first British capital, and Europe’s third capital city, to enact such a ban. In 2020, Amsterdam became the first major city in the world to ban fossil fuel advertising, along with ads for air travel. Other British towns to have enacted similar bans include Cambridge, Liverpool and Norwich. Sydney and Stockholm have also moved to ban fossil fuel advertising.

Andrew Simms of Badvertising told Forbes that Edinburgh’s action “could be described as historic in that it is the most thorough and complete policy passed yet by a national capital”.

Interestingly, the Edinburgh ban includes electric SUVs, following an International Energy Agency report that showed all SUVs use 20% more energy than smaller cars.

It added that if SUVs were a country, they would be the world’s fifth largest emitter of CO2!

“The review of the Advertising and Sponsorship policy is fully aligned with the Council’s net zero ambitions. Reaching this target requires a shift in society’s perception of success, and the advertising industry has a key role to play in promoting low-carbon behaviours. Conversely, the promotion of high-carbon products is incompatible with net zero objectives.”
Edinburgh Council

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