UK newspaper The Guardian is to stop taking advertising from oil and gas companies, it announced on Wednesday.

The Guardian said it was the first major global news organisation to ban taking money from companies involved in extracting fossil fuels.

It said the move follows efforts to reduce the company’s carbon footprint and increase reporting on the climate emergency.

The ban will be implemented immediately, it added.

“Our decision is based on the decades-long efforts by many in that industry to prevent meaningful climate action by governments around the world,” the company’s acting chief executive, Anna Bateson, and the chief revenue officer, Hamish Nicklin, said in a joint statement.

They said the response to global heating was the “most important challenge of our times” and highlighted the Guardian’s own reporting on how lobbying by energy companies has explicitly harmed the environmental cause.

The news follows a Greenpeace petition calling for an end to all oil advertising in the media.

Mel Evans, senior climate campaigner for Greenpeace UK, said: “For too long fossil fuel giants like BP and Shell, who are causing our climate emergency, have been able to get away with greenwash advertising while investing 97% of their business in oil and gas.

“This is a watershed moment, and The Guardian must be applauded for this bold move to end the legitimacy of fossil fuels.

“Oil and gas firms now find themselves alongside tobacco companies as businesses that threaten the health and wellbeing of everyone on this planet.

“For BP the disconnect has been the most glaring: spending millions on lobbying to undermine environmental laws, then claiming to be progressive on climate in ads and on social media.

“Other media outlets, arts and sports organisations must now follow suit and end fossil fuel company advertising and sponsorship.”

This article was published first in Recharge's sister publication Upstream.