January 21, 2022

Call to End the Tour Down Under-Santos Partnership

For the second year, Fossil Free South Australia is calling for the permanent removal of Santos as the naming rights partner of the Tour Down Under (TDU) and Festival of Cycling, and for all future TDU events to be partnered with clean, sustainable, non-fossil-fuel related businesses.

Fossil Free South Australia will be attending some of the Festival events with messages highlighting the need to #BreakAwayFromGas with friendly, peaceful, non-disruptive actions.

Members of FFSA will be distributing information and asking the public for their views on who would be a suitable sponsor for the event.

A growing number of competitive and professional cyclists*, support the following statement, by Fossil Free SA: 

“We support a Tour Down Under that promotes sustainability and showcases South Australia’s forward-looking energy policy. Events SA partnering with Santos is inconsistent with the promotion of a healthy, clean sport such as cycling.  

Santos is a fossil fuel company committed to expansion of the gas industry, including controversial ‘fracking’ projects. Santos has no credible transition plan towards net zero emissions.

Events SA should seek a new naming rights partner, for 2023 and the future, with credentials that better align with the event values and Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) sustainability principles.”

Inadequate Climate Targets

As stated at COP26 and in the Paris agreement, to have a chance at limiting global temperature rise to 1.5C, all human activities need to be carbon-neutral by 2050 or sooner, with deep cuts to greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Australia’s target of 26-28% is about one third of the 75% cuts that the science indicates is necessary.

Gas is a polluting fossil fuel

The burning of methane gas in place of coal, causes significant emissions of Carbon Dioxide, a greenhouse gas contributing to global heating and climate destabilisation. In the process of gas extraction, processing and distribution, methane is released into the atmosphere through flaring and  fugitive emissions. Methane is up to 86 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2. Substituting gas for coal does not significantly reduce CO2 emissions.

We must rapidly reduce the use of all fossil fuels to prevent disastrous warming of the planet. But fossil fuel companies, including Santos, are planning to increase their production and sale of gas.

Fossil Free SA is an affiliate of 350.org.au