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Watchdog To Launch Crackdown On Ads Falsely Claiming Green Credentials

Watchdog to launch crackdown on ads falsely claiming green credentials

Airline ads that encourage taking too many flights and carmakers that show SUVs tearing up the countryside are set to fall foul of a crackdown on marketing that encourages environmentally irresponsible behaviour.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is to launch a series of inquiries into the environmental advertising claims and practices across a range of sectors – starting with energy, heating and transport – in a drive to support global efforts to reduce carbon emissions and battle the climate crisis.

Next spring the the watchdog will expand its investigation to look at the accuracy of green claims made by companies around waste, such as products being biodegradable, recyclable or a “plastic alternative”. Later next year the spotlight will turn to meat and food sustainability advertising, for example checking the accuracy of claims around environmental good practice by sellers of beef products, a hugely carbon intensive industry.

“The ASA is going to be shining a greater regulatory spotlight in the coming years on social responsibility and misleadingness issues when it comes to environmental claims in ads,” says Miles Lockwood, director of complaints and investigations at the ASA.

“We know that there needs to be systemic, wide scale change in order for the UK to meet the government’s climate targets. We know how concerned people are about ads inaccurately promoting green credentials. We believe that our work will continue to positively influence the fight against climate change.”

It will also commission research into what the public understands by terms such as “carbon neutral” and “net zero” in order to inform its policing of claims. It will examine the messaging around the meaning of “hybrid” in the burgeoning electric vehicle market.

“We have concerns about how companies might be using ‘green’ terms,” said Lockwood. “Carbon neutral in particular is emerging as a popular term, with lots of companies burnishing their green credentials by claiming their services add no carbon overall to the atmosphere.

“We want to better understand how companies are using terms like this across industries and how consumers understand these terms, so that our rules and guidance are in step with prevailing academic, scientific evidence and environmental standards so we’re best placed to tackle misleading and socially irresponsible green claims across media.”

The watchdog has clamped down on several major companies in recent years over their green claims in adverts, including Ryanair – which got caught using outdated information to claim it was the UK’s lowest emission airline – BMW and Shell.

The ASA is currently investigating complaints about a Land Rover Defender advert that shows one of the vehicles driving through a forest accompanied by the slogan “life is so much better without restrictions”. The complaints claim the advert encourages an irresponsible approach to nature and fails to mention the climate impact of SUVs.

Later this year, the ASA’s sister body the Committee of Advertising Practice – which sets the UK advertising code across all forms of media, from TV and newspapers to billboards and online – will issue new guidance to advertisers regarding misleading and socially irresponsible environmental claims and advertising.

On Monday, the Competition and Markets Authority said it would launch its own review of misleading green claims next year.

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Environment

F.G’s Dangote Flood Committee Shares N1.5b Relief Materials To Flood Victims

The Dangote-led Presidential Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation (PCFRR), known as Dangote Flood Committee has distributed N1.5 billion relief materials to victims of flooding nationwide.

The PCFRR, which was established by the Federal Government following the 2012 flooding, is co-chaired by Africa’s foremost industrialist Aliko Dangote and Dr. Olisa Agbakoba.

The flagging off ceremony for the relief materials distribution for this year started in Borno State and was conducted by the State Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum Tuesday in Maiduguri, Borno State capital. The Governor thanked the Dangote Flood Committee and promised that he will ensure that the items get to the victims.

UNICEF revealed that the 2022 flood killed 600 people, displaced 1.3 million and destroyed more than 82,000 homes in Nigeria, therefore making it the worst in decades.

The representative of the committee, Alhaji Umar Musa Gulani, assured at the flagging off for the Northeast zone that the exercise would also be conducted in the other five geopolitical zones of the country.

Gulani said the items from the committee have been officially handed over to the Borno State Government and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). He said the exercise would be conducted across the six geo-political zones, beginning from the northeastern State of Borno.

The breakdown of items donated includes 86 bags of rice, 34 bags of beans, 34 bags of maize, 34 bags of millet, 34 bags of Guinea Corn, 34 bags of Garri, 86 cartons of noodles, 86 cartons of spaghetti, 86 cartons of macaroni and 86 bags of sugar, and 857 bags of cement, among several food and non-food items.

Gulani said over N10 billion has been expended by the committee to mitigate the effect of flooding since inception in 2012, adding that no fewer than 84 Hostels have been built for flood victims in 24 states of Nigeria. According to him: “This private sector led project is highly commendable and it has been sustained in the past ten years. It is a selfless service from the private sector and Nigerians should appreciate their selfless service to humanity”.

Director General of NEMA Alhaji Mustapha Habib Ahmed described the Committee’s intervention as a milestone for Nigeria in general, and flood victims in particular. “Responding to the humanitarian outcomes of this nature requires concerted effort,” the DG said, and added that the donation by the Dangote Flood Committee would eventually be made available to flood victims across the affected states in Nigeria.

Speaking on behalf of the victims, Khalifa El-Miskin said the victims were extremely appreciative of the gesture.

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Environment

600 Persons Killed, 1.3m Displaced By Floods – UNICEF

The United Nations Children’s Fund has said at least that 600 persons died and 1.3 million others rendered homeless by floods.

This was disclosed by the Chief of UNICEF Field Office, Enugu, Juliet Chiluwe, on Saturday, during an official handover of supplies for Anambra State Flood Response from UNICEF to Anambra State Government

Ms Chiluwe said the figure was obtained according to government data available it received.

During the visit by the UNICEF, the first set of supplies of 100 drums of chlorine for disinfection of water sources, 40 cartons of Aquatabs for household water treatment and 320 cartons of Ready to Use Therapeutic food were handed over to the state governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, who was represented by his deputy, Onyekachukwu Ibezim.

The UNICEF official said, “We acknowledged that since September 2022, the worst floods in a decade affected 2.8 million people, of which an estimated 60 per cent are children, across 34 of the 36 states in Nigeria. Of those affected, 1.3 million people have been displaced, and over 600 people have died in relation to flooding according to government data.

“Continuous heavy rains have collapsed hundreds of public health facilities, water systems and sanitation facilities, increasing the risk of waterborne diseases, such as cholera, diarrhoea, and malaria.

“To contribute to the effort of government and other development partners, UNICEF, with funding the Central Emergency Response Fund, has initiated a multisectoral response comprising Health, Child Protection and WASH sectors, to mitigate the impact of the floods support the early recovery-phase of the affected population in Anambra State.“

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Environment

Dantata, Rabiu, Others Gift Jigawa Flood Victims N1b

Nigerian businessman and philanthropist, Alhaji Aminu Dantata, and Abdulsamad Rabiu, the founder of BUA group, on Saturday raised over N1 billion for Jigawa flood victims.

The donations were made in Dutse at the fund raising in support of the 2022 flood victims in the state.

Dantata and Rabiu each donated N200 million, Jigawa State Government N250 million, Gov. Muhammad Badaru, donated N25 million on behalf of himself, family and his company, Talamis Group.

However, Dantata, who was represented by Alhaji Salisu Sambajo, expressed concern over the conditions in which the flood victims found themselves after the disaster.

The philanthropist prayed for those who died during the disaster and sympathised with those who lost their property and crops in the floods.

Similarly, Badaru also expressed appreciation to the teeming donors for their kind gesture and urged the fund raising committee to be equitable and just in the distribution of the palliatives and cash.

The committee Chairman, Alhaji Bashir Dalhatu, (Wazirin Dutse) and former Minister of Power, thanked individuals and group of companies for supporting the victims.

Other donors included the members of the state and National Assembly as well as Council Chairmen.

Zenith Bank, Jaiz Bank, FCMB, Sterling Bank, GTBANK and Unity Bank were among the financial institutions who made donations.

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