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Photos: These subversive ads rip into the corporate sponsors of the Paris climate talks

By Aamna Mohdin
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

World leaders have descended onto Paris to try and agree an international treaty to minimize the effects of climate change. They’ll be met with hundreds of ads critiquing the conference’s corporate sponsors.

Brandalism, a guerilla art project originating in the UK that calls itself an “unofficial partner” of the Paris talks, claims to have installed of more than 600 artworks that attack the “hypocrisy” of the sponsors of the COP21 climate talks, which started today (Nov. 30). More than 80 artists from 19 countries created the artworks featured across Paris.

Revolt Design/Brandalism
Monstfur & Simpson/Brandalism

The ads are in the same style of the sponsors, poking fun at prominent companies like Air France, Dow Chemicals, and Volkswagen—in the latter’s case, referring to its recent emissions scandal by saying, “We’re sorry that we got caught.” They also target heads of government such as Francois Hollande, David Cameron, and Barack Obama.

The group placed their art work in advertising spaces owned by JC Decaux, one of the world’s largest outdoor advertising firms—and a sponsor of the climate talks.

Bill Posters/Brandalism
Bill Posters/Brandalism
This says: “We knew about the impact of fossil fuels but publicly denied it”
Bill Posters/Brandalism
Bill Posters/Brandalism

A spokesperson from Brandalism tells Quartz: “It’s been a tactic by certain companies to present themselves as caring about the problem… but they’re part of the problem.” He describes their sponsorship of the climate talks as “a political cover for their activities.”

“So long as the talks are sponsored by these companies, they’ll never be a fair and effective deal to avert climate catastrophe,” he adds.

📬 A periodic dispatch from the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly in NYC.

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