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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

NiMet predicts thunderstorm, rain from Friday to Sunday

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted thunderstorms and rains from Friday to Sunday across the country.

NiMet’s weather outlook released on Thursday in Abuja envisaged morning thunderstorms on Friday  over parts of Kano State and Kaduna State.

It anticipated thunderstorms over parts of Bauchi State, Gombe State, Zamfara, Sokoto State, Kaduna State, Adamawa and Taraba later in the day.

“In the North Central region, morning thunderstorms and rains are expected over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Kogi, Benue, Niger and Nasarawa State.

”While later in the day, thunderstorms are anticipated over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Plateau, Nasarawa, Niger, Kogi and Kwara.

“Morning rains are anticipated over parts of Oyo State, Ogun, Osun, Edo, Ondo State, Lagos State, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Bayelsa, Rivers and Delta, while intermittent rains are anticipated over the entire Southern region later in the day,” it said.

According to NiMet, morning thunderstorms are anticipated over parts of Kebbi, Kaduna State and Zamfara on Sunday while afternoon and evening thunderstorms are anticipated over parts of Gombe State, Kaduna State and Bauchi State.

The agency forecast thunderstorm and rains over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Plateau, Nasarawa State and Niger during the morning hours.

NiMet predicted thunderstorms and rains over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Plateau, Nasarawa State and Benue later in the day.

The agency envisaged morning rains over parts of Ondo State, Ogun, Edo and Lagos State.

It predicted intermittent rains over parts of Osun, Oyo State, Ogun, Ondo State, Lagos State, Delta, Edo, Rivers, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Cross River later in the day.

According to NiMet, morning thunderstorms are anticipated over parts of Jigawa, Kebbi, Kaduna, Adamawa, Taraba, Gombe State and Bauchi State later in the day on Sunday.

The agency anticipated thunderstorms  over parts of Katsina State, Zamfara, Sokoto State and Kebbi.

“In the North Central region, rains are expected over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Nasarawa State, Plateau and Niger during the morning hours.

“Partly cloudy conditions are also expected over the region during the afternoon/evening hours.

“Morning rains are anticipated over parts of Edo and Lagos State, while in the afternoon/evening hours, intermittent rains are anticipated over parts of Ondo State, Ekiti and Osun” it said.

The agency urged the public to take adequate precaution as strong winds may precede the rains in areas where thunderstorms are likely to occur.

NiMet advised Airline operators to get updated weather reports and forecasts from NiMet for effective planning in their operations.

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Environment

Lagos to reintroduce monthly environmental sanitation

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has approved the reintroduction of monthly environmental sanitation in the state.

The state Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab, who disclosed this to newsmen said the State Executive Council granted the approval. He said the sanitation which would commence in July, would be officially announced by the governor soon.

“Lagos governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and the state executive council have approved the re-introduction of the monthly sanitation. The governor will announce it officially for the exercise to commence this month,” Wahab, who spoke in Yoruba language, said in a 21-second clip shared on the Lagos State Environmental Update page on X.

The state government stopped the monthly environmental sanitation exercise in the state in 2016.

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Environment

NEMA activates states’ emergency centres on flood assessment

The Director General National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Zubaida Umar has activated all Zonal, Territorial and Operation offices of the agency nationwide, to work with the States’ Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs) within their area of responsibilities, to carry out rescue operations and conduct assessment of the situation.

The move is in furtherance of its proactive flood risk management.

A statement from the agency on Sunday, said the NEMA Zonal, Territorial and Operation offices are located in Lagos, Ibadan, Ekiti, Abuja, Minna, Jos, Enugu, Owerri, Port Harcourt, Edo, Uyo, Kano, Sokoto, Kaduna, Maiduguri, Yola and Gombe.

At the headquarters, NEMA said it also operates a toll-free emergency contact line: 0800CALLNEMA (080022556362) in addition to all its social media platforms, through which feedback from members of the public can be received nationwide.

Consequently, NEMA said search and rescue officers have been deployed across the states, and have been providing the much-desired support in coordination of rescue operations with SEMAs and other stakeholders in recently flooded areas and communities.

The agency also said it is conducting a rapid assessment to determine any further assistance that may be required in the impacted communities.

It said, “The rescue efforts by NEMA are in addition to the ongoing sensitization and awareness activities being carried out to alert the public of the predicted flood for necessary actions to be taken to avert negative impacts.”

On Wednesday, 3rd July, Umar was in Anambra State on flood advocacy where she discussed with the Deputy Governor who represented the Governor, and religious and community leaders, on measures to avert and mitigate floods in the state which often record severe flooding annually. She has also previously visited several states and stakeholders across the country on the same mission with plans to continue with the advocacy.

It said, “As part of its pre-rainy season flood prevention advocacy, the Agency engaged the media in the placement of flood sensitisation jingles, and held an emergency coordination forum with critical stakeholders to prepare them for the predicted disaster.

The agency also said that soon after the flood prediction, written all state governments with the list of local governments that are at risk and outlined actions required to be taken to avert or mitigate the disaster.

It said, “A number of states that heeded the advisory from NEMA have acknowledged their early actions matched with the warnings and NEMA responses that have made lots of differences.

NEMA reemphasize the flood warning while calling on all stakeholders including the state and the local government, to be prepared for the intensifying of the rain season.

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