Aviation Ads to Carry Cigarette-style Warnings?

Once again the aviation/climate change debate is hotting up, and once again, the UK is the scene for the latest installment. The Guardian reports that the Institute for Public Policy Research is urging advertising for flights, foreign holidays, and cars to carry cigarette-style advertising warning of the particular product's or service's greenhouse gas contribution:

"Clearly visible messages such as "Flying causes climate change" could put some consumers off air travel in the same way that smokers are deterred by health warnings on cigarette packets, a new report on global warming suggests. In addition to the warnings on adverts and at airports, carbon offsetting charges should be included in flight fares, with passengers forced to opt out rather than opt in, the Institute for Public Policy Research demanded in its latest report."

While such a policy may raise awareness of transport related emissions, it's hard to see how decisions would be made as to which industries would be targeted. If, for example, ads for airlines and cars were forced to carry such warnings, then why not concrete, meat, or any other carbon-intensive industry? It's certainly an interesting idea, but this Treehugger suspects it will be a long time before we see it in practice. After all, it's hard to imagine the folks at SPURT agreeing to voluntarily carry a climate warning on their advertising, given their 'Screw Climate Change, Let's Fly' motto

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