Enough is enough: we’re suing EnergyAustralia for greenwashing
As parents who want a safe climate for our kids, we try our hardest to buy clean renewable energy.
But too many companies are incorrectly marketing polluting products as ‘green’ or ‘carbon neutral’, making it even harder for us to do the right thing by our kids.
Energy giant EnergyAustralia has been marketing electricity and gas from fossil fuels as ‘carbon neutral’, claiming they can ‘offset’ that pollution. But so-called ‘offsets’ are a type of marketing spin that enables companies to continue polluting, without making genuine cuts to their pollution.
It’s our job as parents to stand up for our kids, and to teach them there are consequences for misleading behaviour.
So we’re taking EnergyAustralia to court, where we’ll argue that they have engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct. If our case succeeds it will set a new legal precedent in Australia, preventing this kind of marketing spin.
Take action to stop greenwashing now
We need to change the way all power companies do business to create a fair playing field for clean renewable energy.
That’s why we need you - and the people you can connect with - to sign our open letter calling on all power companies to stop greenwashing.
Sign the open letter now and be a part of Parents for Climate holding these companies to account.
To the power companies of Australia,
We, the undersigned, are parents and other caregivers who care about our kids’ climate.
Many of us are time-poor, so when we’re trying to choose the best products for our families we rely on companies representing their products honestly.
And we don’t appreciate being misled.
If we’re in the supermarket we expect the label to match what’s in the box. And when we buy power we expect the same.
If your products generate pollution that harms the climate our kids are growing up in, don’t market them to us as ‘green’ or ‘carbon neutral’.
If you’re misleading us into buying polluting products when we’re trying to buy clean energy, you’re misleading us into harming our kids when we’re trying to protect them.
It's our job to protect our kids. And it’s our job to teach them there are consequences for misleading behaviour, so we’re taking a stand.
Advertise the climate impact of your products honestly, so we can make real choices about what we buy.
And change your business from polluting to clean renewable energy.
Why we are taking this legal action
As Australia's leading climate advocacy charity for parents, carers, families and all who care about a safe future for kids, we're taking EnergyAustralia to court for making false and misleading climate claims, while continuing to pollute our kids' climate.
Our case challenges EnergyAustralia - Australia’s third largest polluter - to stop misleading families over their ‘Go Neutral’ electricity and gas products. EnergyAustralia claims these products are “carbon neutral”, when they’re in fact not. These two products sell households energy that’s sourced from fossil fuels - including Yallourn coal-fired power station.
This case is an Australian first, targeting the marketing of consumer products as “carbon neutral”. And if we’re successful, it will force EnergyAustralia to improve while setting a precedent for other companies to follow - further reducing greenwashing faced by consumers.
As parents who care deeply about the climate we’re leaving our kids, we want EnergyAustralia to tell the truth about the impact of burning fossil fuels, and to empower consumers to choose genuine clean and renewable energy.
What is greenwashing?
Greenwashing is a form of marketing spin deceptively used to persuade the public that a company and its products are environmentally friendly.
An especially pernicious form of greenwashing occurs when fossil fuel companies seek to shift public perception to view their business activities as part of the solution to - rather than the cause of - climate change. This has the dual effect of distorting the market for consumers and investors genuinely seeking climate-friendly products and businesses, while increasing climate harm through ongoing carbon pollution.
Governments around the world are responding with tougher requirements and regulations - including a new EU directive on greenwashing in March. Australian regulation is yet to address the widening gap between greenwashing and reality.
In our case, we're challenging EnergyAustralia - Australia's third largest energy retailer - for making claims that some of its electricity and gas products are somehow "carbon neutral" simply by buying carbon credits to somehow "offset" its pollution.
Unfortunately, burning fossil fuels can never truly be "carbon neutral". So-called "offsets" are an exercise in marketing spin and creative accounting, without a solid basis in science. So we're calling EnergyAustralia out about misleading and deceptive marketing that amounts to greenwashing.