Netherlands Officials Tell Shell to Stop Its Ads Greenwashing ‘Carbon Neutral’ Fuel

Home Technology Netherlands Officials Tell Shell to Stop Its Ads Greenwashing ‘Carbon Neutral’ Fuel
Netherlands Officials Tell Shell to Stop Its Ads Greenwashing ‘Carbon Neutral’ Fuel
The Shell logo pictured on a Royal Dutch Shell gas station sign.
Photo: Adrian Dennis (Getty Images)

In the Netherlands, officials ruled that Shell has to halt ads that claim customers can render their fuel purchases “carbon neutral” by paying for carbon offsets. The reasoning is pretty straightforward: Shell has, uh, no proof that their claims were true.

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The decision isn’t legally binding, but it’s still a good sign. Shell has two weeks to appeal the decision. After that, the court will publish a final decision, which could force Shell to pull the ads.

The Netherlands’ courts have really been kicking Shell’s ass of late. Earlier this summer, a Dutch court issued a massive ruling ordering the oil company to slash its carbon pollution 45% by 2030. The company also now joins BP and Chevron in getting hauled to court for greenwashing.

The new ruling, handed down last week by the Dutch Advertising Code Committee (a national marketing and advertising watchdog), came in response to a complaint filed in April by nine legal students at Vrije University’s Climate Change and Sustainability Law Clinic in Amsterdam. The students’ complaint was backed by the Reclame Fossielvrij (Fossil-Free Advertising) campaign and Greenpeace Netherlands.

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