5 July 2019
Lambeth Council are facing criticism from Green Party councillors after it was revealed they had granted a licence to Land Rover to film a recent advertisement in Brixton, despite passing a motion declaring a climate emergency earlier this year. The advert, released last month, depicts model Adwoa Aboah driving through the streets of Brixton in a new Range Rover Evoque. Accompanied by the tagline “Discover Brixton”, it appears to encourage drivers to explore Brixton from a pollution-emitting, four-wheel drive vehicle.
Yet Land Rover made headlines earlier this year when they were forced to recall 44,000 cars in the UK due to high carbon dioxide emissions.
The council response to the Member’s Enquiry by the Green Party querying the decision to grant Range Rover a filming licence, stated that “the film officer who issued the filming license for this filming was unaware of Lambeth's directive announcing a climate emergency.”
The Green group of councillors are now calling on the council to make amends by suggesting that the council plant one tree for every hour of filming that took place.
Green Councillor Nicole Griffiths (St Leonard’s) has criticised the council for the decision to allow the company to film in Brixton, and also for the advert’s characterisation of the area. She said:
“Lambeth declared a climate emergency in January of this year, six months ago, and yet there still seems to be virtually no awareness within the council of what this means. The Climate Emergency must be taken into account when any decision is made. Pollution levels in Brixton continue to be at record breaking levels. Allowing an advert of this kind to be filmed on the one of the most polluted high roads in the UK is an act of massive misjudgement. We have received an apology from the council for the issuing of the licence but as leaders of the Council, Lambeth Labour have to make it their priority to raise awareness of the climate emergency amongst council staff.
I have requested that the revenue raised from this advert go towards tackling our toxic air by funding tree planting in the borough but the amount paid by Range Rover doesn’t even cover the cost of one tree! So we are now calling on the council to plant at least one tree for each hour that the filming took place. Apologies are one thing, an actual demonstration that shows they are willing to mitigate their mistake is another.”