Ban fossil fuel advertising in Ottawa!

Ban fossil fuel advertising in Ottawa!

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At 25 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!
Mark Brooks started this petition

With this citizens' initiative, we call on Ottawa City Council to pass a ban on all fossil fuel advertising on city property, including buses, bus shelters and all city-sponsored events. This includes a ban on advertising for gas-powered vehicles, SUVs and trucks. 

Similar bans have already been implemented or are being considered in other jurisdictions, including a campaign for an EU ban on all fossil advertising: 

Given the urgency to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and the City of Ottawa's commitment to zero emissions by 2050, measures such as 'nudging,' 'stimulating' and 'raising awareness' is no longer enough. A ban on fossil fuel advertising supports measures outlined in Ottawa's Energy Evolution initiative such as reducing the demand for energy and phasing out the use of fossil fuels. 

The climate crisis threatens life in many parts of the world including Canada. Yet fossil fuel companies, who are largely responsible for causing this crisis, continue to advertise products that are causing serious health impacts, natural disasters, enormous economic costs and ecological breakdown. 

Bans on tobacco advertising were implemented when society as a whole recognized that tobacco companies should not be allowed to promote products that are harming people. We know that fossil fuels are doing the same. A ban on fossil fuel and automobile advertising will not only send a signal that these products are causing irreparable harm to people and the planet. A ban will also stop fossil fuel companies from deliberately misleading consumers with advertising that makes an emotional appeal by deceptively showing images of healthy children, beautiful natural scenes, windmills, wildlife, pristine wilderness, clean air, forests and unspoiled water bodies. Fossil fuel and automobile companies create false impressions of their products and deceive the public into believing that they need to purchase ever larger and more polluting vehicles. 


* it reinforces fossil fuel products and services as 'normal.'

* it misleads the public about the role of oil and gas companies in worsening the climate crisis

* it tempts people to fly more or buy gasoline, diesel or natural gas vehicles


A ban (restrictions on the supply side) is a normal government instrument in the event of a danger to society that the market cannot resolve. The climate crisis is such a danger. 

A fossil fuel advertising ban (including health-warning when selling) is a no-regrets measure that:

* limits an unnecessary want for, and consumption of, fossil fuels

* illuminates the damage caused by fossil fuels

* explains the urgency of the climate crisis

* stops greenwashing (at the source)

* offers room for a sustainable market

* strengthens societal support for ambitious climate policy

* helps governments around the world to achieve their individual climate goals faster

*  speeds up climate action


Do Comparisons Between Tobacco and Climate Change Liability Withstand Scrutiny?

Martin Olszynski, Sharon Mascher, and Meinhard Doelle from the University Of Calgary Faculty Of Law conclude that “while there are some important differences between these two contexts, from a legal perspective, the comparison is actually quite apt. Both contexts involve products (tobacco and fossil fuels) initially considered harmless but increasingly understood as posing significant risks, not just to their direct consumers but to the broader public as well. Probably the single most important factor in our analysis, however, is the public nature of the costs incurred in both contexts: public healthcare costs as a result of tobacco-related disease and the various public remedial and adaptation costs that are expected to arise as a result of climate change. Other similarities include well-documented campaigns of denial in the face of mounting scientific evidence in both contexts.”

In 1989, Canada enacted the Tobacco Products Control Act (TPCA), which prohibited tobacco advertising, required health warnings on tobacco packaging, and restricted tobacco-related promotional activities.

The time has come for fossil fuel advertising to stay away from children, young people and adults for good.

Please sign this Ottawa Citizen’s Initiative!

13 have signed. Let’s get to 25!
At 25 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!