A legal action filed by Dutch campaigners with greenwashing claims against airline KLM has been given permission to proceed to a full hearing by the District Court of Amsterdam.

The lawsuit, filed by environmental non-profits Fossielvrij and Reclame Fossielvrij, and supported by environmental law organization ClientEarth, challenged the airline’s “Fly Responsibly” advertisements, claiming that the ads and offset marketing violate the standards set by EU consumer law by suggesting that KLM flights do not contribute to the escalating climate crisis.

ClientEarth lawyer Johnny White said:

“The truth is that KLM’s climate publicity push extends far beyond a single campaign. This is not an isolated incident in the airline industry. The ongoing struggle to stamp out aviation greenwashing underscores the urgent need to ban fossil fuel advertising and protect the public from misleading practices that subvert climate action.”

Legal action citing greenwashing has been picking up against companies in key carbon intensive industries recently, such as a lawsuit against energy giant TotalEnergies over a campaign where it claimed to be “a major player in the energy transition.”

The legal action against KLM’s Fly Responsibly advertising states that by giving the impression that airline and the industry as a whole are progressing to sustainable aviation is deceptive, by creating a false impression of the sustainability of KLM’s flights and its plans to address its climate impact.

According to the complaint, the advertising campaign is misleading as it argues that the airline industry’s climate solutions such as using biofuels and synthetic fuels are not sufficient to make flying sustainable, and as KLM’s CO2ZERO offering enabling passengers booking flights to use carbon offset products to “reduce your impact” suggests that emissions from flying can be offset or reduced through planting trees.

The complaint also challenge’s the airline’s claim that its net zero by 2050 target is “creating a more sustainable future”, which ClientEarth says is at odds with the airline’s growth plans.

Hiske Arts, campaigner at Fossielvrij, said:

“Today’s ruling rightly confirms that climate organisations have a place in combating greenwashing. With the threat of this lawsuit, KLM stopped its problematic ‘Fly Responsibly’ campaign. But KLM continues to greenwash its growth ambition through other climate messages. It is important that the Court assesses the full spectrum of KLM’s statements, because as long as the biggest polluters continue to lull us to sleep through their slick marketing campaigns, climate action will not happen.”

The post Court Greenlights Greenwashing Case Against KLM first appeared on ESG Today.

The post Court Greenlights Greenwashing Case Against KLM appeared first on ESG Today.