Dutch city bans adverts for holiday flights amid climate crisis

Ads for fossil fuel-related products and services will not be displayed in public places from 2024

Lamiat Sabin
Thursday 08 September 2022 10:32 BST
The city of Haarlem lies just west of Amsterdam and has a population of about 160,000
The city of Haarlem lies just west of Amsterdam and has a population of about 160,000 (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A Dutch city has announced it will ban advertising for holiday flights as part of a range of measures to tackle the climate crisis.

Haarlem will be the second city in the world after Amsterdam to impose such a ban.

The city in the northwest of the Netherlands will enforce the prohibition on adverts for air travel, fossil fuels, and non-electric cars from 2024.

It will also be the first city in the world to ban adverts for meat.

When the ban is enacted, Haarlem’s population of about 160,000 will no longer see adverts for fossil fuel-related products and services, or meat, on public buses, shelters and screens.

The ban is delayed until 2024 due to existing contracts with companies that sell the aforementioned products.

Haarlem seeks to follow in the footsteps of the neighbouring Dutch capital of Amsterdam – which last year was the first city in the world to ban adverts for recreational air travel and fossil fuels.

Ziggy Klazes, a councillor from the GroenLinks (‘Green Left’) party, drafted the motion banning adverts for meat in Haarlem.

She reportedly told the Haarlem105 radio channel: “We are not about what people are baking and roasting in their own kitchen.

“If people wanted to continue eating meat, fine ... We can’t tell people there’s a climate crisis and encourage them to buy products that are part of the cause.

“Of course, there are a lot of people who find the decision outrageous and patronising, but there are also a lot of people who think it’s fine.”

Critics of the ban have argued that it restricts the freedom of expression.

Sander van den Raadt, leader of the conservative-liberal Trots Haarlem group, said: “It’s remarkable that the municipality of Haarlem is holding a large poster campaign that you can be yourself in Haarlem and love whoever you want, but if you like meat instead of soft grass, ‘the patronising brigade’ will come and tell you that you are completely wrong.”

Elsewhere, France enforced a ban last month on advertising for fossil fuels, such as gasoline and diesel, that Greenpeace claimed was merely an exercise in political greenwashing as it did not go far enough.

There are also campaigns to enact bans on advertising fossil fuel-related products and services in parts of the UK, Australia, Canada and the EU.

In the UK, the Green party made it their official policy in 2020 to campaign for a ban on advertising “high carbon” goods and services such as SUV/4x4 cars and long-haul flights.

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