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NGOs criticize the lack of ambition of the Climate Law on advertising for polluting products

They denounce a decline of the government. While the Citizen’s Climate Convention proposed to ban advertising of the most polluting products, the government limited, in its Climate law, examined this month in the National Assembly, this ban to only fossil fuels. A choice regretted in this column published by franceinfo about twenty leaders of the main French environmental NGOs. They express themselves here freely.

Faced with citizens who recommended putting an end to advertising for the most polluting products and junk food, in its Climate and Resilience bill, the government preferred to entrust the issue to advertisers whose commitments remain unclear a few days before the parliamentary debate on this text. We, associations from various backgrounds and communication professionals, denounce this ecological and democratic failure. The government’s renouncements are numerous in the Climate and Resilience Bill: this is the opinion of the National Council for Ecological Transition, the High Council for the Climate and the members of the Citizen’s Climate Convention (CCC) themselves. same.

On the “regulation of advertising” component, after the government filter, the “Evin Climat law” proposed by the CCC – this principle of prohibiting advertising for harmful products – only concerns one sector, “producers of fossil fuels ”, for which publicity is already scarce. While alongside, a device that nobody had asked for, the “climate contract”, speaks only of “reduction” of such advertising, on a voluntary basis.

Result: the Citizen’s Climate Convention gave the government an execrable score of 2.6 / 10 on this item. How did we get here ? The members of the CCC had however taken care to prioritize the issues. They thus focused on the fight against advertising through imposed media and for polluting products. On these products, they focused all the ambition on a lever that can be operated in the long term – an Ecoscore making it possible to measure and display the CO2 emissions of goods and services – to one day ban advertising on the most emitting ones.

To act now, they have taken a reasonable approach. The only immediate advertising bans would be targeted on products whose polluting or harmful to health is no doubt, while being the subject of massive promotional expenditure: “malussés” vehicles and products that are too fatty, too sweet, too salty. No doubt, because Public Health France recommends the ban on advertising for junk food that targets children, because of the indisputable link with the phenomena of obesity. There is no doubt about polluting products, because numerous reports have documented the need to put an end to the promotion of goods and uses harmful to the climate.

In fact, beyond just SUVs, it would be more a question of banning advertising for all products that run on fossil fuels. And yet, the government swept away all the compromises of the Citizen’s Convention in terms of the “Evin Climat law”. Why ? Obviously, this renunciation is based on the arguments of lobbies according to which banning advertising for these products would correspondingly reduce the level of advertising funding in the media, putting them to the ground, and with them the ambition of pluralism in the media. information and cultural creativity.

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But this time, to save our media, the ruling majority preferred to let advertisers take the lead: reduce advertising for too few polluting products, without forcing those who do not want it. All this on the basis of a fallacious argument. With the “Evin Climat law”, the advertising market will not disappear and should not even decrease, since today’s advertising spending will shift tomorrow to less polluting substitutable products.

“In fact, if there is a decrease, it will result from the choice of manufacturers to promote less products that pollute less.”

The signatories of the platform

The impact of a drop in media funding must also be put into perspective. Advertising only finances part of the media and depends on the vagaries of the advertising market only those which are strongly or entirely based on this type of income. However, the pluralism of the press is also largely guaranteed by the media which depend little or not on advertising funding.

Advertising will only be able to support the ecological transition if the law sets a minimum of rules so – with all the talent that communicators can demonstrate – that it “sells” us only the world of tomorrow, and no longer that of yesterday. . During the Grenelle de l’Environnement in 2008, on the regulation of advertising, the government had already chosen self-regulation and trusted the major advertisers.

“Ten years later, the explosion in SUV sales was the second largest source of growth in C02 emissions in France. We cannot lose another decade.”

The signatories of the platform

Today, 8 out of 10 social and solidarity economy companies are in favor of banning advertising of the most polluting products, like more than 65% of French people. Despite the pragmatism of the Citizen’s Climate Convention, the government faltered in the face of pressure from lobbies. To avoid a failure that is both democratic and ecological, for France to commit to an ambitious “Evin Climat law”, we are now asking parliamentarians to amend the bill by introducing the proposal made by the CCC.

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The petitioners :

Morgane Creagh, Director of the Climate Action Network
Marie Cousin, president of RAP (Resistance to advertising aggression)
Vincent david, founder of Public utility relationship
Renaud Fossard, Head of the Advertising System and Multinational Influence (Spim)
Juliette Franquet, director of Zero Waste France
Khaled Gaïji, president of Friends of the Earth France
Alain Grandjean, President of the Nicolas Hulot Foundation
Karine Jacquemart, Director of Foodwatch
Jean-Francois Julliard, Managing Director of Greenpeace France
Wojtek Kalinowski, co-director of the Veblen Institute
Daniel Luciani, director of ICOM21
Jean-Yves Mano, president of CLCV (National Association of Consumers and Users)
Céline Puff Ardichvili and Béatrice Lévêque, General Managers and Associates of LookSharp
Gilles Reeb and Emmanuel Beaufils, co-founders of the Uzful agency
Arnaud Schwartz, president of France nature environnement
Laurent Terrisse, founder and president of the Limite agency
Laetitia Vasseur, Managing Director of Stop Programmed Obsolescence (HOP)

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