David Suzuki Foundation plugs renewable energy

With six of Canada’s largest oil and gas companies spending big on advertising to promote their efforts to get to net zero emissions by 2050, the David Suzuki Foundation has responded with a new ad campaign of its own.

“Messaging that the fossil fuel industry is reducing emissions is deceptive,” said David Suzuki Foundation’s clean energy manager Stephen Thomas in a release. “It fails to mention the significant harms the industry continues to cause.”

In an extensive ad campaign that’s in market now, with media including TV (including a spot that ran in the Super Bowl), online and newpaper wraps, Pathways Alliance—a coalition of Canada’s largest oil sands producers—concedes that the oil sands “contribute significant carbon emissions,” and invites people to visit the Pathways Alliance site to find out what they are doing about it.

The group puts an emphasis on carbon capture as one potential solution, but the David Suzuki Foundation calls options like carbon capture and nuclear energy “expensive, unproven and sometimes dangerous.”

Instead, it calls for a greater focus on renewable energy sources like wind and solar. That priority is the key message in the ad campaign by Taxi, with billboards using the headline “Let’s plug into affordable, secure, renewable power.”

DSF says the oil industry has been spending millions in Canada—and billions around the world—to try and enhance its brands and reputation when it comes to the environment.

“There’s reason to pay attention to advertising—because it works,” said Thomas. “There’s nothing controversial about ads calling for a shift to affordable, secure, renewable electricity. The true controversy is why we don’t see more.”

David Brown