Climate Council wants end to fossil fuel sponsorships

Three Origin Diamonds netball players posing smiling with arms around each other (fossil fuel)
Origin Diamonds players

The Climate Council has launched a new voluntary Code for sports clubs and arts institutions to remove fossil fuel sponsorship from their uniforms, stadiums and events. 

The Code has been developed with researchers from Edith Cowan University, in response to mounting pressure from athletes, artists, fans and punters. 

It is being launched alongside a new report, Calling Time: How to Remove Fossil Fuel Sponsorships From Sports, Arts and Events 

Related article: Climate Council and Sarah Wilson launch ‘I Quit Gas’

The report details how planet-wrecking companies like Woodside, Santos, Chevron and Tamboran Resources are piggy-backing on Australia’s most loved and iconic pastimes to divert attention from the environmentally destructive impacts they cause. 

The call to remove fossil fuel sponsorships builds on momentum in recent years as high profile sports stars, members and artists have joined the push to stop planet-wrecking fossil fuel companies greenwashing via sponsorships. 

Climate Council Head of Advocacy Dr Jennifer Rayner said, “It is absurd that, as climate change reshapes our way of life in real-time, the logos of fossil fuel companies responsible for this mess are plastered across athletes’ chests, emblazoned on gallery walls, and prominently displayed at festival grounds. It has to stop.

“We’ve designed a framework to help CEOs and Boards of these organisations do some deep thinking about whether their values as a club are aligned with fossil fuels. If they choose to sign the pledge, they’ll be sending a signal to their many members, fans and the Australian community that they are serious about confronting climate change. 

“We urge every club member, sports fan, arts aficionado, parents, players, anyone who cares deeply about saving Australian sports, to promote the code to those who can make the right call.”

Former Australian Diamonds netballer and climate change advocate Amy Steel said, “Sport plays a huge role in creating cultural change. Sport sponsorship is known as a way for companies to buy their social licence, by using the high cultural value of the sports clubs we know and love. 

Related article: Carol Schwartz AO appointed chair of Climate Council

“So while sport doesn’t itself contribute to a vast amount of emissions compared to other industries, by allowing fossil fuel companies to gain an endorsement, we stall the change that needs to happen. 

“This change is needed urgently and we count on sport to play its role in getting us back on track for a safe and habitable climate future. Sport as we know it literally relies on climate action. There will be no safe climate to play backyard cricket, country footy and netball if we fail to act any longer. There is no time to waste, we need to take action, and this new voluntary Code helps us to go about it.” 

The pledge can be found here.

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