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Shell Loses Dutch Appeal Over Misleading Carbon Emission Ads

Shell Loses Dutch Appeal Over Misleading Carbon Emission Ads

(Bloomberg) — Shell Plc lost its appeal against the Dutch advertising watchdog’s ruling that an ad campaign that promoted carbon-dioxide emission credits was misleading and must be withdrawn.

Bloomberg News: Diederik Baazil and Cagan Koc: 21 Oct 2022

(Bloomberg) — Shell’s advertisements offer customers the option to pay extra for their fuel, with the money going to buy credits in emission-reduction projects that “compensate” for the pollution generated. The ads are a reboot of a similar campaign last year that the regulator also deemed misleading.

“There is no or insufficient evidence that the forest projects in which Shell invests are actually capable of realizing the carbon credits’ converted absorption of CO2 in a way that fully offsets the CO2 emissions of Shell’s fossil fuel,” said the appeals board of the Advertising Code Committee.

Shell’s appeal came after the Advertising Code Committee ruled once again earlier this summer that the company has no way of demonstrating that its campaign eliminates the damage it causes through fossil fuels. The committee is a self-regulating initiative that formulates the rules with which advertising must comply but its verdicts are not legally binding.

Representatives for Shell didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Shell has come under increasing pressure over it’s role in climate change as the company claims its energy-transition plans will produce more low-carbon fuels and slash greenhouse-gas emissions. A big part of Shell’s plans relies on what it calls “nature-based solutions,” such as planting trees, reforesting and restoring land to offset industrial emissions.

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