Massachusetts city to post ‘climate change’ warning stickers at gas stations

Bright yellow stickers warn drivers burning of gasoline has ‘major consequences on human health and the environment’

Cambridge, Massachusetts, has become the first US city to mandate the placing of stickers on fuel pumps to warn drivers of the resulting dangers posed by the climate crisis.

Stickers placed on fuel pumps in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Photograph: City of Cambridge
The final design of the bright yellow stickers, shared with the Guardian, includes text that warns drivers the burning of gasoline, diesel and ethanol has “major consequences on human health and the environment including contributing to climate change”.

The stickers will be placed on all fuel pumps in Cambridge, which is situated near Boston and is home to Harvard University, “fairly soon” once they are received from printers, a city spokesman confirmed.

“The city of Cambridge is working hard with our community to fight climate change,” the spokesman added. “The gas pump stickers will remind drivers to think about climate change and hopefully consider non-polluting options.”

The placement of the stickers follows an ordinance passed by Cambridge in January. The city has a target of slashing planet-heating emissions by 80% and offsetting the remainder by 2050, making it carbon neutral.

Transportation, primarily the use of cars and trucks, is responsible for more than a quarter of US emissions but there has been scant success in weaning Americans off their predilection for large, energy-intensive vehicles. Indeed, a boom in SUV sales in the US threatens to cause a surge in emissions if national fuel efficiency standards are not tightened further.

Warning labels similar to Cambridge’s are already found in Sweden, although an effort to do likewise in Berkeley, California, was unsuccessful.