Action Alert: Ban fossil fuel ads now, prime minister!

Day after day, the climate crisis deepens, representing an unprecedented and existential threat to people in Canada and around the world. The World Meteorological Organization has confirmed 2023 as the warmest year on record by a substantial margin. Indeed, since the 1980s each decade has been warmer than the previous – and the past nine years been the warmest on record.

As UN chief António Guterres said in response to this recent data, “humanity’s actions are scorching the earth” – and we’re failing to do enough to arrest this pattern. The UN Environment Programme finds that pledges under the 2016 Paris Agreement, to keep temperature increases below 1.5 degrees, are insufficient. Current pledges under this agreement – to which Canada is a signatory – put the world on track for a 2.5 to 2.9 degree increase this century.

The Carbon Majors Database ( links 80 per cent of the world’s global greenhouse gas emissions to just 57 oil, gas, coal and cement producers – many with a footprint in Canada – since the 2016 Paris Agreement.

We urge you to join the campaign initiated by the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) to ban fossil fuel advertising in Canada.

The campaign points to the indirect health effects of burning fossil fuels through climate change – for example, poor health caused or exacerbated by heat waves and wildfires – as well as the direct effects. The burning of fossil fuels is one of the leading causes of premature mortality in Canada, and children who live in homes with gas stoves have similar risk of asthma as children living with a smoker. Fossil fuels make us sick. Fossil fuels kill ours and other species.

The campaign is patterned on previous advocacy that led to the ban on advertising tobacco. To date, there are welcome signs of success. In February, Charlie Angus, MP for Timmins-James Bay, tabled Bill C-372, the Fossil Fuel Advertising Act. The bill, consistent with CAPE’s position, aims to “prevent the public from being deceived or misled with respect to the environmental and health hazards of using fossil fuels,” and to “enhance public awareness of those hazards.”

RNAO and its Ontario Nurses for the Environment interest group have also joined CAPE in its advocacy by supporting the advertising ban as tabled in MP Angus’s Bill C-372.

Join us - let your elected representatives know that you support banning fossil fuel advertising in Canada.