The Guardian has become the first major global news organisation to institute an outright ban on taking money from companies that extract fossil fuels.
“In a bid to reduce our carbon footprint, confront greenwashing and increase our focus on the climate crisis, [we] will no longer run ads from fossil fuel extractors alongside any of its content in print, or online,” the newspaper said in a statement.
The move will come into immediate effect, and follows the announcement in October 2019 that the paper intends to reduce its net emissions to zero by 2030.
Anna Bateson, the interim chief executive officer of Guardian Media Group, the Guardian’s parent company, said: “It is something we thought about for a long time… We always felt it was in line with our editorial values but were cautious for commercial reasons.”
She said it was the logical next step after the Guardian committed last year to becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and was certified as a B Corp – a company that puts purpose before profit.
But she added that the move had to be weighed carefully, given the fact that the Guardian only recently returned to breakeven after years in the red.
“You have to be careful you are not making cavalier decisions,” she said. “We are still having to fight for our financial future. But because of the support we get from our readers, it is less of a risk.”
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