Success: City Approves Climate Change Warning Labels for Gas Pumps


Target: Community Environmental Advisory Commission of Berkeley Secretary, Nabil Al-Hadithy

Goal: Applaud new requirement of warning labels on gas pumps to remind consumers of their responsibility to the planet

All gas pumps in Berkeley, California will now be required to have a label warning consumers of the detrimental effects of carbon emissions to the environment, thanks to a new law. A previous ForceChange petition asked readers to support the initiative as it went up for a vote. The new labeling law will come into effect next spring.

The labels are the brainchild of local environmental advocacy group, 350 Bay Area, which largely based the idea off of the warning labels on cigarette packaging. Proponents of the new labels hope that if people are confronted with the choice of what their mode of transportation could cost the environment, Bay Area citizens may choose a different form of transportation.

The organization also fought to get the labels approved in San Francisco, where the proposal will come before the city’s Board of Supervisors in March 2015. 350 Bay Area campaign manager Jamie Brooks says the labels are meant to remind people of their direct responsibility and individual footprint. Hopefully, says Brooks, the warnings will help people to connect climate change with their personal consumption. He says the labels are not meant to make people feel guilty, but to bring to light the long-term effects of their actions.

Despite heavy opposition from big oil companies, which claim the warning labels are in violation of the First Amendment right to free speech, as well as the two council members who opposed the measure, citing unnecessary expenditures, the vote was cast in favor of the climate reminders. The labels will be the first of their kind in the U.S., and 350 Bay Area says it plans to get labels affixed to pumps in Oakland next.

Sign this petition in support of this reminder that, while we are the problem, we can also be the solution to global climate change.


Dear Secretary Al-Hadithy,

Berkeley’s gas pump label initiative could have a huge and positive effect on the footprint of Bay Area residents. The initiative works to remind citizens of their individual responsibility to our planet, and to reinforce the fact that seemingly innocuous actions—like driving—can be hugely impactful on our only home.

As Jamie Brooks of 350 Bay Area pointed out, the effects of carbon emissions are not immediately felt, allowing a disconnect between the consumer and the long-term cost of her actions. The consumer doesn’t see global climate change as she drives, as she doesn’t see lung damage while she smokes a cigarette.

I support and applaud the gas-pump warning labels reminding drivers that there are more environmentally friendly forms of transportation available.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: geralt via Pixabay

Original petition: Support Climate Change Awareness Initiative

Sign the Petition

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