The Irish Greenwashing Awards call out top misinformation spreaders that have been greenwashing and profiting from the climate crisis. Irish EVs is taking a satirical approach to help bring attention to the issue of greenwashing that’s been happening with the fossil fuel industry. In a press release, the consumer advice website said that some of Ireland’s best-known brands have been recognized for their hard work in a brand new, nationwide annual awards event.
We are excited to announce the Irish Greenwashing Awards 2022 #IGA22
The awards are dedicated to acknowledging outstanding misinformation about the Climate Crisis across Ireland
— IrishEVs (@IrishEVs) February 13, 2022
By acknowledging the top companies for their outstanding misinformation about the climate crisis across Ireland, Irish EVs is brilliantly calling them out for their blatant greenwashing. IrishEVs is also raising awareness of the ticking clock on the climate crisis and how the efforts of both corporations and politicians are having a negative impact on cutting emissions and meeting climate targets, resulting in drastic consequences for public health.
Tom Spencer, the editor of IrishEVs, pointed out the urgency of cutting emissions while touching upon the fact that the winners of the awards are profiting from sowing fear, uncertainty, and doubt.
“While it has never been clearer that we urgently need to cut emissions to avert the worst outcomes of the Climate Crisis, we have seen an alarming increase in greenwashing over the past year.
“Many of the brands, publications, and politicians recognized by the Irish Greenwashing Awards are directly profiting from sowing fear, uncertainty, and doubt about the Climate Crisis — delaying action so that they can increase their income. This is worsening the poverty gap in Ireland, and raising the cost of living.”
Currently, over 1,300 people die in Ireland each year from air pollution. Over 5 million annual deaths globally can be attributed directly to the climate crisis itself. That number continues to grow. And while this is happening, brands such as Applegreen and Toyota Ireland are being called out for their contributions toward worsening the climate crisis.
Winners Of The Irish Greenwashing Awards 2022
There are a total of eight winners and categories. They are as follows:
- Political Inaction Award — Micheál Martin, The Irish Government
- Broken Promise Award — Jon Williams, RTE News
- Greenwashing Media of the Year — The Irish Times
- Greenwashing Enabler of the Year — Cullen Communications
- Profiting from the Climate Crisis Award — Applegreen
Fan’s Choice Award
- Most Creative Greenwashing Award — Toyota Ireland
- Lifetime Achievement Award — ICCRA
The following are detailed reasons why each candidate won their award.
Political Inaction Award
Winner: Micheál Martin, The Irish Government
“This award recognizes the consistent promises for action, and the continual dedication from the Irish Government in claiming they are leading in the fight against the Climate Crisis — while actually doing nothing to stop it.
“Ireland failed to meet its greenhouse gas emissions targets in 2020, and will almost certainly have missed its targets for 2021 as well — making the target of 51% reduction in overall greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 even harder to reach.
“Furthermore, the European Commission has recently warned the Irish Government that it has one of the worst records on restricting legal freedoms around climate action – being the most expensive member state in which to make an environmental claim before the courts, and notable for its “increasingly aggressive stance being taken against environmental campaigners — like threatening to cut off funding to certain NGOs.
“This political inaction is putting our nation, our people, and our public health in jeopardy, and consigning millions of people around the world to die as the Climate Crisis worsens. Mr. Martin and his Government must realize that they cannot buy their way out of this crisis, it requires a wholesale change in Irish society, economics, and politics.”
Broken Promise Award
Winner: Jon Williams (RTE)
“In July 2021, RTE News Editor Jon Williams acknowledged the failure of the publicly funded news source to cover the Climate Crisis, stating that RTE News ‘has a responsibility to lead the conversation about the climate crisis, and the impact it is having.’
“Six months on and those words are ringing hollow, as RTE continues to consistently overlook the Climate Crisis in its reporting, as seen in its recent coverage of Ryanair’s ‘biggest ever flight schedule for summer 2022’ — which completely failed to mention the relationship between aviation and the Climate Crisis.
“This is just one of many failures from RTE to address the promotion of greenwashing and climate denial, which is why there can be no more deserving winner than RTE News and Jon Williams in this category.”
Greenwashing Media of the Year
Winner: The Irish Times
“Greenwashing is rampant in Ireland and has grown significantly in the past year. This award recognizes the publication most dedicated to platforming greenwashing from brands and politicians alike.
“Of course, there can be no more deserving winner than The Irish Times, for their consistent prioritizing of climate misinformation, disinformation and greenwashing across almost every section of the publication.
“From giving voice to disinformation groups like ICCRA without any balance to running greenwashing ‘sustainability’ content sponsored by Land Rover, and publishing stories such as ‘Could Ireland be a winner from climate change’, The Irish Times really has gone above and beyond to deceive the Irish public in this past year.
“And that doesn’t even include the fact that they removed the Climate section from their homepage in order to promote Six Nations coverage.
“Huge congratulations to them for really suppressing facts about the Climate Crisis in a way that no other publication has achieved this year.”
Greenwashing Enabler of the Year
Winner: Cullen Communications
“Behind every great greenwashing brand is a PR agency helping them to spread misinformation to the public and the press — but those public relations, marketing, and advertising agencies often don’t get the recognition that they deserve.
“This award acknowledges the dedication of Cullen Communications in promoting greenwashing campaigns on behalf of Applegreen.
“From lying to the public about ‘carbon-neutral’ premium fuels which cost members of the public but don’t do anything to aid the Climate Crisis, to running a schools program on biodiversity to confuse children and avoid scrutiny of the role of fossil fuels in worsening the destruction of this planet, Applegreen really has done it all.
“And Cullen Communications has been there every step of the way to ensure that as many people as possible are left as confused as possible, so that Applegreen may delay climate action and increase its profits. Huge congratulations to them on this well-deserved award.”
Profiting from the Climate Crisis Award
“This award recognizes those brands who have gone out of their way to turn the ever-worsening Climate Crisis into an opportunity to increase their profit margins.
“Applegreen really has stood head and shoulders above the competition in this category over the past year.
“Their continued promotion of ‘carbon neutral’ premium fuels really is a great example of the lengths they are going to in order to make the Irish public spend more money while guilt-tripping them into absolutely meaningless ‘climate action.’
“Nowhere have they mentioned that it will take up to 35 years for their offsetting scheme to capture the emissions they are creating, and nor do they mention that they only ‘offset’ a fraction of the total emissions of their fuels. Even then, we all know that carbon offsetting doesn’t work anyway.
“Our sincere congratulations to Applegreen and their PR agency for winning two awards this year.”
Misdirection Greenwashing Award
Winner: Ariel Wash Cold Challenge
“This award recognizes the brand that has gone out of its way to promote a ‘green’ message to hide the wider consequences of its actions.
“In a highly contested category, Ariel’s Cold Wash Challenge campaign had the edge to win the accolade.
“While telling people to wash at lower temperatures in order to reduce energy usage and CO2 emissions, they are also encouraging users of Ariel products to overlook vast amounts of microplastic waste generated by their washing pods. Let us not forget that fetuses are now infected with microplastics before birth.
“Kudos to Ariel for their creative deception.”
Most Creative Greenwashing Award
Winner: Toyota Ireland
“In a world where greenwashing is becoming ever more common, it is increasingly taking more and more creativity from brands to stand out from the crowd when pretending to take action on the Climate Crisis.
“Few brands could stand up to the consistent creativity of Toyota Ireland, who really have raised the bar for so imaginatively spreading fear, uncertainly, and doubt amongst the Irish public.
“From their promotion of entirely fossil-fuel reliant ‘self-charging hybrids’ as a green option to passing off opinion surveys as fact, and paying UCD to conduct bogus research to substantiate their lies about hybrid vehicles, Toyota really have gone above and beyond.
“The fact that Toyota Ireland has managed to avoid their ‘self-charging hybrid’ deception from being banned here — as it has been in many other countries — is a testament to the levels of creativity and dedication to greenwashing that they have put in this year.”
Fans’ Choice Greenwashing Award
Winner: Toyota Ireland
“This award is voted for by IrishEVs readers and acknowledges the greenwashing campaigns that they are most frustrated by on a daily basis.
“Owing to their promotion of ‘self-charging hybrids’ which are entirely reliant on fossil fuels, and their consistent trolling and aggression on social media to those who call out their greenwashing, 70% of IrishEVs voted for Toyota Ireland to be recognized as the Fans’ Choice greenwasher of the year.”
Lifetime Achievement Award
“Our headline award for the night acknowledges the brand, person or organization that has constantly defied expectations and raised the bar for greenwashing year after year.
“Our Greenwashing Awards 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award goes to … The Irish Car Carbon Reduction Alliance (ICCRA).
“Few brands or organizations can even compare to the level of greenwashing that ICCRA, and its spokesperson Denis Murphy, have achieved in recent years. From lobbying the government to delay emissions reductions target by a decade to consistently promoting false information in the Irish press, ICCRA really has done it all.
“What has really set ICCRA apart from the rest is their E-Way 2040 misinformation campaign, which uses greenwashing and disinformation to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt amongst the Irish population, by lying to them about vehicle emissions and electric cars in order to increase their profit margins up to 2040.
“Their dedication to greenwashing can be seen in the expense that they went to in hiring Weber Shandwick Dublin to promote this campaign in the Irish press and on social media — and in their attempts to pay academics to validate their misleading campaign.
“Our congratulations to Denis and ICCRA for setting the precedent for the most flagrant greenwashing in Ireland.”
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