We need to reverse the trend!

As the climate crisis looms as one of the greatest challenges facing humanity, we are being bombarded with ads encouraging us to buy gas-powered vehicles (gas or diesel), particularly SUVs and other light-duty trucks.

Did you know that:
  • 25% of Canada's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are from the transportation sector;
  • and that Canada has committed that by 2035, 100% of new vehicle sales will be zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs)?

Yet, Canada has no regulations to govern advertising on gas-powered cars, despite their environmental impact.

There are no requirements for ads to display a vehicle’s fuel consumption or GHG emissions, no standards for protecting nature and the environment, and nothing against advertising them in nature settings.

We must demand a new regulatory framework for advertising gas-powered vehicles

Advertising has a powerful impact on consumer choices

The link between advertising and purchasing behaviour is strong. A 2021 Équiterre study shows that nearly half of new vehicle buyers admit that their decision was influenced by some type of media.

Car advertising, including ads for light-duty trucks, is prevalent in Canada. The automotive industry alone accounted for 21% of total digital advertising investment in 2018, putting it at the top of the list

80% of new vehicle sales in 2020 were light-duty trucks

Four out of five (80%) new vehicles sold in Canada in 2020 were light-duty trucks - including sport utility vehicles (SUVs), crossover utility vehicles (CUVs), pickup trucks, and minivans.

Gas-powered vehicles, particularly light-duty trucks, have significant multidimensional impacts and we must recognize their proliferation on our roads as a public health and safety issue. We need to increase advertising regulations in order to reduce the demand for gas-powered large vehicles.


  • the Government of Canada has committed to reducing GHG emissions by at least 40% by 2030 and to banning the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035, it must create stronger regulations on automotive advertising, particularly for light-duty trucks.
  • the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) receives public funding, it must lead by example and align itself with Canada's climate targets. We therefore encourage CBC to update its advertising policy in light of the climate emergency.

We demand:

  1. That the federal government commit to banning advertising for all internal combustion vehicles by 2030*;
  2. That the federal government immediately tighten the regulatory framework for automobile advertising, with a focus on the heaviest and most energy-consuming vehicles;
  3. That the Board of Directors of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation update its advertising policy to no longer show advertising for internal combustion vehicles;
  4. That there be no cost to CBC to update its advertising policy.

Automotive advertising is getting in the way of our climate goals and our work to protect our environment. It is high time that we stop allowing this influence.

Let’s reverse the trend!

Keys facts

The negative impacts of light-duty trucks are tangible, direct, and quantifiable.

  • Environmental footprint: GHG emissions from light trucks increased 161% between 1990 and 2019 in Canada! Through their greater consumption of fossil fuels, large vehicles contribute to air pollution, which has significant public health implications in Canada.
  • Safety: The feeling of safety associated with driving a light-duty truck is one of the most important variables when choosing a vehicle. However, the advertising associated with SUVs and other light trucks fails to recognize the risks that these vehicles pose to road users outside the vehicle.
  • Traffic and infrastructure: The size and weight of larger vehicles result in more congestion, less public space, and premature wear and tear on road infrastructure and, therefore, higher costs for all taxpayers.
  • Household finance: SUVs are on average much more expensive and contribute to Canadian household debt. They cost on average 10,000$ more than a standard car in Canada.

* In 2021, the federal government announced that, 14 years later, in 2035, new passenger cars or light-duty trucks powered by gasoline or diesel will no longer be sold in Canada. We also set intermediary targets: ZEV sales are to represent 20% by 2026 and 60% by 2030. However, the advertising of fuel-powered vehicles is still pervasive and influences the purchase behaviour of Canadians.

Source: Study "The Rise of Light-Duty Trucks in Canada: Reversing the Trend" by Équiterre

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