In August 2021, the Dutch advertising authority (Reclame Code Commissie, RCC) ruled against Shell in a complaint lodged by the climate law clinic earlier that year. In its marketing campaign “Make the difference. Drive CO2 neutral”, Shell had claimed that consumers could “offset” the CO2 emissions from driving with fossil fuels. The RCC found this claim to be misleading, as Shell had failed to provide the necessary scientific evidence to substantiate its claims.

Students of the VU Climate Change Law Clinic who filed the claim

The RCC’s decision (in Dutch) can be found here:

The complaint (in English) can be found here:

The decision was featured widely in national and international media.

Reclame Code Commissie tikt Shell op de vingers om claim ‘CO2-neutraal’ – NRC (NRC, 27 August 2021) 

Dutch Ad Watchdog Tells Shell to Pull ‘Carbon Neutral’ Campaign – Bloomberg (Bloomberg, 27 August 2021)

Shell’s carbon offsetting ad is greenwashing, rules Dutch watchdog – (Euractiv, 2 September 2021)   

CO2-Kompensation: Greenwashing oder gut fürs Klima? (Handelsblatt, 2 November 2021) 

Greenpeace says Shell is tricking drivers with its carbon neutral campaign | Canada’s National Observer: News & Analysis (National Observer, 10 November 2021)