Written by 22:09 World

Facing New ‘Greenwashing’ Law, an Oil Industry Website Goes Dark

When Parliament passed a law last month banning misleading or false environmental claims in advertising, or “greenwashing,” the reaction from an alliance of six oil sands companies was swift. The website for their Pathways Alliance, pushing a carbon capture and storage plan for oil sands emissions, more or less vanished. Most of the companies scrubbed their own websites and social media pages of everything related to environmental issues.

Once vigorously promoted by the oil industry, the Pathways Alliance website offered on Friday only a note explaining that its online presence was gone because the new law created “significant uncertainty for Canadian companies that want to communicate publicly about the work they are doing to improve their environmental performance, including to address climate change.”

But the statement also insisted that the site was not an example of greenwashing.

“This is a direct consequence of the new legislation and is not related to our belief in the truth and accuracy of our environmental communications,” the group said.

Environmentalists, who have long characterized Pathways as a prime example of greenwashing, were having none of that argument.

“Scrubbing their websites is such a telling indication of their greenwashing activity and shows that they have been making false promises about the impact of their emissions reduction plans,” Emilia Belliveau, the energy transition program manager at Environmental Defence, told me.

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Last modified: 9 July 2024
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