Autumn Conference 2023

Motion #04

Banning High Carbon Advertising

Motion passed


The climate crisis poses an existential risk. Advertising of high carbon products is a significant driver of consumption habits that are perpetuating climate emissions. The continued advertising of high carbon products is incompatible with efforts to address the climate crisis. This motion seeks to regulate and ban such advertising.


Conference notes that high carbon advertising, as defined as forms of advertising that promote goods, products and services that are carbon intensive, is incompatible with a sustainable society. High carbon advertising underpins mass carbon consumption and promotes high carbon goods, products and services, and is therefore a significant factor in the climate crisis.

Conference also notes that advertising controls on the grounds of reducing societal harms are an existing practice, as seen with tobacco products, and that various schemes internationally have sought to restrict high carbon advertising, such as in France and Amsterdam.

Conference notes that, in order to help mitigate and adapt to the effects of the climate crisis, there needs to be a focus on increasing public understanding and awareness of the role of consumption emissions, whereas high carbon advertising is currently a platform for greenwashing and for the minimisation of harms caused by high carbon products, goods and services.

Conference notes the immediate need for regulatory controls and oversight of high carbon advertising, with the intention of promoting alternatives (such as active travel, healthier foods and sustainable fashion) and ultimately banning all such advertising.

Conference notes in order for this to become policy we will need amendments in the Climate Crisis, Culture, Media & Sport and Transport sections of policy, as detailed below:

  1. Amend CC121, delete “For instance, it should require all adverts for high carbon products, to carry an ‘environmental health warning’” and insert “The adverting of high carbon and other environmentally damaging products will also be regulated to reduce demand, and ensure consumers have a more accurate picture of such goods, products and services. This will be achieved via measures such as a ban on the advertising of high carbon products, alongside environmental health warnings and the promotion of zero carbon alternatives.”
  2. Amend CMS683, delete “Environmental Advertising. Products which are harmful to the environment, for example in terms of greenhouse gas emissions through use, or embodied carbon in their manufacture or distribution, will be required to carry a prominent warning in all advertising.” and replace with “ High carbon products, which promote greater carbon consumption or emit significant levels of embodied carbon in their manufacture or distribution,  require strict regulation to address their role in driving consumption patterns that are incompatible with tackling the climate emergency. The advertising of such products should be banned. Greater action will also be taken to counter greenwashing in advertising, through tougher regulations such as environmental health warnings and the promotion of alternatives.
  3. Amend CM687,  after “services such as” insert “fossil fuels”,  delete “progressively reduce and ultimately eliminate all advertising for and promotion of such good and services” and insert “ban all such advertising.”
  4. Amend TR550, delete “resources wasted and damage done by excessive use of air transport” and insert “environmental damage caused by frequent air travel”, delete “considers that governments should” and insert “would”, insert “ It would also introduce tough measures to end air travel advertising in recognition of its impact as a high carbon activity “ after “human health”
  5. Amend TR552, delete” introduce legislative controls on the advertising of air travel” and insert “ban the advertising of air travel”.
  6. Amend TR553, delete “specifically” and insert “Until there’s a ban on the advertising of all air travel”, delete “will campaign for UK and/or EU legislation for” and insert “supports”, delete “and would take up a significant and specified proportion of the area of each advert/ticket” and insert “.” after “flight tickets” and after this, insert “Advertising restrictions would ensure consumers aren’t exposed to overly frequent advertising for air travel (or other high carbon products and services) and would instead actively promote alternatives.”

Amendment #1

Conference agrees to insert the following sentence at the end of existing CMS686:

*“In addition a cap on the percentage of a company’s turnover that can be spent on marketing shall be introduced (with an exception for start ups). See EC652.”*

Last updated on 2023-10-21 at 11:41