- 350 Australia is launching a “fossil free sponsorship” pledge that celebrates arts, community and sporting groups who rule out partnerships with coal, gas and oil companies.
- The campaign is supported by high profile artists and organisations including RISING festival, La Mama Theatre, and Revelation Film Festival.
- The pledge will launch with a website with tools to take the pledge and an interactive database tracking major fossil fuel sponsorships: https://cutallties.350.org.au/
- According to 350 Australia, momentum is growing to end fossil fuel sponsorship on ethical grounds, with 17 organisations that have recently cut ties with coal, gas and oil companies. However, an online database reveals that there are at least 407 current fossil fuel sponsorships across arts, sports, education, and cultural institutions.
25 May 2023: A new campaign supported by high profile artists, festivals, and community groups will launch online Thursday, calling for organisations to sign up to a “fossil free sponsorship” pledge that rules out partnerships with coal, gas and oil companies.
The campaign from 350 Australia recognises that fossil fuel companies are causing widespread harm by fuelling the climate crisis, and many events and organisations are already cutting ties with these companies. But with fossil fuel corporations rapidly losing support, these companies are trying to use community sponsorships to improve their public image.
According to 350 Australia CEO Lucy Manne, “The fossil free sponsorship pledge will celebrate our loved events, clubs and institutions who commit to an ethical ban of coal, oil and gas sponsorship, as we work towards the inevitable end of fossil fuel sponsors just as we’ve banned tobacco sponsorship.
“We know that the momentum is already there – in the past two years, we’ve tracked 17 organisations who’ve cut ties with fossil fuel sponsors, and many more who’ve put in place ethical screens ruling out future association with these harmful companies. With this pledge we are giving our loved events and organisations the opportunity to do something positive by declaring that they won’t be associated with the companies responsible for the climate crisis.”
RISING festival, Revelation film festival and Strawberry Fields music festival, along with a number of other organisations, are among the first who have signed up to the pledge.
According to RISING festival artistic co-director Hannah Fox, “RISING is committed to taking action on climate change which informs many decisions on how and where we operate, and who we partner with. It’s our responsibility to artists and audiences to reduce and minimise the impact the festival has on the natural environment.”
Artists have come out in support of the commitment by RISING.
According to Arrernte playwright Declan Furber Gillick, whose play Jacky will run as part of RISING, “Despite all the multi-million dollar PR pivots and greenwashed rhetoric, we know that fossil fuel corporations and their lobbyists still have their hands in the pockets of politicians and their boots on the throats of our ecological futures.
“I’m proud to be presenting my work Jacky with RISING festival, who have recently pledged to get out of bed with the fossil fuel industry. Artists and arts workers have had enough. The stage, the page and the arts workers’ wage are no place for climate-change hush money.”
Furber Gillick’s full statement is included below.
According to artist Lara Thoms, whose performance work Oh Deer! will run at RISING, “I am so proud to be part of a festival that does not partner with fossil fuel companies. This is a substantial commitment to climate justice that the arts community can get behind.”
The fossil free sponsorship pledge comes following significant momentum towards ending fossil fuel partnerships, including Cricket Australia dropping Alinta as a sponsor, Santos being dropped from the Darwin Festival, and Questacon cutting ties with Shell and Inpex. The City of Sydney and other councils are voting to ban all fossil fuel sponsorships of their events.
Meanwhile, the peak body for gas and fracking companies have expressed concern that they are losing their social licence, and planning a multi-million dollar advertising campaign to try to claw back community support.
350 Australia is launching the pledge with a website that celebrates organisations who have pledged, and contains an interactive database showing 407 sponsorships between companies and organisations, and 17 organisations who have cut ties with fossil fuel partners. There are also resource kits for community members to engage with their local event, festival, club or community group to ask them to take the pledge.
Media contact: Lucy Manne, 0417 387 516, firstname.lastname@example.org
More information about the pledge and the interactive database can be found here: https://cutallties.350.org.au/
The text of the pledge states: We pledge that we will not enter into sponsorship arrangements, take funding or any in-kind contributions from coal, oil and gas companies and will not permit the use of their logo on any of our promotional materials.
Text of Declan Furber Gillick’s full statement:
Despite all the multi-million dollar PR pivots and greenwashed rhetoric, we know that fossil fuel corporations and their lobbyists still have their hands in the pockets of politicians and their boots on the throats of our ecological futures. From record-breaking fires and catastrophic floods the world over, to the Pasifika First Nations Communities facing real and immediate rising sea levels, to Natasha Fyles’ frack-happy NT government endangering Aboriginal homelands, selling out giant underground basins and polluting remote drinking water, it’s never been clearer or more desperate: the time is now to fight the fossil fuel industry with anything and everything we’ve got.
That means action at every level – grassroots organising and door-to-door canvassing, industrial action, mass mobilisation, petitions, direct action, disruption, divestment campaigns and international diplomacy. We must hit the major polluters where it hurts – in the hip pocket and on the stock market floor. If we want to limit global heating and climate catastrophe, we have to act now to force economic crises within the energy industry, bring about real economic change and demand planning and investment for a livable future.
Artists and arts workers have voices and a responsibility to use them. Arts organisations big and small can and do make a difference to public opinion, culture and industrial and economic trajectory. I’m proud to be presenting my work Jacky with RISING festival, who have recently pledged to get out of bed with the fossil fuel industry. Artists and arts workers have had enough. The stage, the page and the arts workers’ wage are no place for climate-change hush money.