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UK newspaper Guardian will not accept advertising money from the fossil fuel industry, even if this means a financial hit for the media, making it the world’s first large news organization to ban oil and gas adds.
The Guardian has been active in recent years in covering climate change and reporting on the climate crisis. Last year, the Guardian changed its style guide to use stronger language to describe the climate emergency, using words such as ‘climate crisis’ and ‘climate emergency’ instead of ‘climate change.’
Now the Guardian is outright banning advertising money from oil and gas companies, with immediate effect, the newspaper said on Wednesday.
“Our decision is based on the decades-long efforts by many in that industry to prevent meaningful climate action by governments around the world,” the company’s acting chief executive, Anna Bateson, and the chief revenue officer, Hamish Nicklin, said in a joint statement.
The Guardian has also recently pledged to become a carbon neutral organization at a corporate level by 2030, and to almost entirely divest its Scott Trust endowment fund from fossil fuels.
Guardian Media Group (GMG) generates 40 percent of its revenue from advertising, so rejecting ads from oil and gas companies would be a financial hit to the organization, the managers said.
“The funding model for the Guardian – like most high-quality media companies – is going to remain precarious over the next few years. It’s true that rejecting some adverts might make our lives a tiny bit tougher in the very short term. Nonetheless, we believe building a more purposeful organisation and remaining financially sustainable have to go hand in hand,” Bateson and Nicklin said.
Greenpeace UK welcomed Guardian’s move, saying that “This is a huge moment in the battle against oil and gas for all of us! Guardian have just announced they won’t let dirty oil and gas companies advertise with them anymore because we’re in a climate emergency.”
The environmental organization called on other media to follow suit because “Dirty oil and gas companies are making the climate emergency worse. They belong in the history books. Not in our news outlets.”
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.