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Press release: 12 February 2020
Below is a reaction from ClientEarth following BP’s announcement this afternoon GMT that it will be ceasing its current Possibilities Everywhere advertising campaign as part of its new net zero ambitions.
The advertising was the focus of a high-level complaint by ClientEarth lawyers who alleged it was misleading, given the company’s continued focus on oil and gas. The campaign was BP’s biggest marketing blitz in a decade, with adverts shown across billboards, newspapers and television in the UK, US and Europe as well as on social media and online.
ClientEarth Climate Accountability Lead Sophie Marjanac said:
“We welcome today’s announcement from oil giant BP that its current advertising campaign Possibilities Everywhere will be ceased immediately and not replaced.
“This campaign was the focus of a complaint by ClientEarth lawyers who alleged that the company was giving the public a misleading impression that it was focused on clean energy investments, when in reality more than 96% of its annual spend was still on oil and gas.
“With today’s announcement, BP appears to have accepted that its approach to advertising was not in line with its stated ambition of helping the world get to net zero and that it was primarily aimed at improving the company’s reputation.
“BP’s wider statement about its net zero ambition for emissions associated with its oil and gas production is a welcome step change for the company. However given the company itself acknowledges that there have been perceived inconsistencies between what it says and what it does, we will be looking forward to further detail about exactly how it will decarbonise in line with the Paris Agreement.
“We welcome the company talking about declining oil and gas production over time, but there needs to be more explanation about how offsets and carbon capture and storage can realistically deliver the company’s decarbonisation ambitions.”
ClientEarth is a charity that uses the power of the law to protect people and the planet. We are international lawyers finding practical solutions for the world’s biggest environmental challenges. We are fighting climate change, protecting oceans and wildlife, making forest governance stronger, greening energy, making business more responsible and pushing for government transparency. We believe the law is a tool for positive change. From our offices in London, Brussels, Warsaw, Berlin and Beijing, we work on laws throughout their lifetime, from the earliest stages to implementation. And when those laws are broken, we go to court to enforce them.