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4 Dec, 2019 12:34

BP accused of ‘greenwashing’ over ‘misleading’ clean energy transition ads

BP accused of ‘greenwashing’ over ‘misleading’ clean energy transition ads

Environmental lawyers have filed a legal complaint against British energy giant BP, accusing the company of misleading consumers over its low-carbon energy in a huge advertising campaign.

ClientEarth, an environmental legal charity, submitted a high-level action under international guidelines of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). “We have asked the UK National Contact Point, which handles OECD guideline complaints, to rule on whether BP should be allowed to run what we think are greenwashing adverts,” the group said announcing the global campaign on Tuesday.

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The complaint centers around BP’s ‘Keep Advancing’ and ‘Possibilities Everywhere’ campaigns that aim to show that the oil and gas giant is focused on developing cleaner energy.

The lawyers say that in fact the company is actually one of the biggest polluters of our planet, spending more than 96 percent of its annual capital expenditure on fossil fuels.

“That’s like a burger chain claiming that they’re vegan because they’ve got salad on the menu,” a lawyer at ClientEarth, Sophie Marjanac, said. “We think BP is misleading you while using slick advertising as a smokescreen.”

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Now the organization wants the energy major to cease the ads unless it tells the truth. ClientEarth is also calling on the UK’s next government to take action and to impose a ban on all fossil fuel advertising “unless it comes with a tobacco-style health warning about the dangers to the planet and people.” The rule should be applied to all fossil fuel producers, the legal charity says.

BP has already rebuffed the accusations, saying that it “strongly” rejects “the suggestion that our advertising is misleading.”

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