Le Monde, a leading French newspaper, has published a climate statement. In it, the newspaper sets standards for journalism, operations as well as advertisements. For instance, the newspaper reserves the right to refuse advertisements that do not fit their editorial line and they do not publish articles on events or speeches that are greenwashing.
In the statement published on 21 April 2023, the newspaper writes that awareness is not enough anymore, now is the time to show commitment. "For individuals, for communities. And therefore also for the media," Le Monde said.
In a commentary, the newspaper stresses that it does not intend to become an activist medium, but to put environmental and climate impact first. It talks, for example, about the choice of angles for articles, avoidance of air travel by journalists and energy-efficient offices. On advertisements in the newspaper, Le Monde writes:
"Le Monde reserves the right to refuse any advertisement that contains an ambiguous message on environmental issues or contradicts its editorial line on these issues. Le Monde has set itself the goal of gradually reducing the proportion of advertising for products and activities based solely on the use of fossil fuels."
5th in the world
Le Monde is among the forerunners within the media to ban fossil advertising because of the climate. It is the fifth news medium to decide to do so, after two Swedish newspapers (Dagens ETC and Dagens Nyheter), the Guardian and major publisher Vox Media.
Other quotes from Le Monde's statement
"Le Monde's editors take a cross-cutting approach to environmental issues. Whenever possible, articles in all sections address the environmental impact of the topics covered and make the connection between the causes and consequences of the climate crisis."
"Le Monde is vigilant and critical of speeches and announcements that could be construed as greenwashing and will devote more resources to addressing these issues."
"Le Monde informs its readers about the impact of their consumption choices and aims to gradually give less space to products and leisure activities that are most harmful to the environment."