January 13, 2022

How Oil Companies Greenwash (and the Campaign To Make Them Stop)

by How to Save a Planet

Background show artwork for How to Save a Planet

For decades, fossil fuel companies have fought action on climate change. They've done so directly – by challenging legislation that would help reign in emissions. But they've also done it indirectly, by funding organizations who lobby congress, launching fake grassroots campaigns, and perhaps most importantly, through advertising. These ads, according to Martin Watters at the nonprofit firm ClientEarth, are greenwashing. They help sow doubt about the fossil fuel industry's role in warming the planet. This week, we take a look at those ads and examine how they stymy the conversation on climate. We also talk to some people working hard to get rid of these types of ads. They aren't going after the fossil fuel companies directly. Instead, they're targeting the people who help fossil fuel companies greenwash their image: the ad creators. 

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This episode of How to Save a Planet was produced by Anna Ladd and Kendra Pierre-Louis. The rest of our reporting and producing team includes Rachel Waldholz, Hannah Chin, and Daniel Ackerman. Our supervising producer is Katelyn Bogucki. Our editor is Caitlin Kenney. Our intern is Nicole Welch. Sound design and mixing by Peter Leonard and Lonnie Ro with original music from Peter Leonard, Emma Munger, and Catharine Anderson. Our fact checker for this episode was James Gaines.

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