WEDNESDAY 31 MAY
THE CLIMATE COUNCIL has today launched a new voluntary Code for sports clubs and arts institutions to remove fossil fuel sponsorship from their uniforms, stadiums and events.
Developed with researchers from Edith Cowan University, the Code is a direct response to mounting pressure from athletes, artists, fans and punters to address the issue of fossil fuel giants greenwashing in the midst of an escalating climate crisis.
It is being launched alongside a new Climate Council report, Calling Time: How to Remove Fossil Fuel Sponsorships From Sports, Arts and Events.
The report outlines how companies including Woodside - who sponsor the Fremantle Dockers and WA Nippers - are piggy-backing on our most beloved and iconic pastimes to divert attention from the environmental destruction they cause.
Dr Carmen Lawrence, academic, politician, and former Premier of Western Australia said: “What’s clear is that these corporations need the sponsorship deals more than the sporting or arts bodies do. The amount of money that’s provided is not an irreplaceable amount - it’s just fairy dust designed to make the corporations look good.
“Some artists and sportspeople are trying to distance themselves from fossil fuel funding, but it's challenging. They need backing from their boards and governments to replace this funding. This isn't an impossible task - there are others who could step in to replace these funders.
“To safeguard Western Australia's unique landscape and biodiversity, including treasures like the Ningaloo Reef, we must decisively end our reliance on fossil fuels.”
Professor of Human Performance at Edith Cowan University, and report co-author, Sophia Nimphius said: "Climate change is already affecting our daily lives and threating our enjoyment and participation in sports, arts, and events. Leaders and organisers can lead the way by removing fossil fuel company sponsorship and taking a stand to show how serious we are about the health and future of our communities.
In collaboration with the Climate Council, we've produced actionable guidelines to empower organisations to seek new sponsors that align with their values and our shared vision for a sustainable future, effectively severing their ties with fossil fuel company sponsorships.”
Greg Bourne, Climate Councillor, former Regional President BP Australasia, and former Chair of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, said: “There’s no doubt Western Australians are absolutely mad about their sports and cultural events. No matter which team you barrack for, or if you’re more of a festival lover, it’s all under threat.
“Climate change - fuelled by burning coal, oil, and gas - is disrupting the west’s famous outdoor pursuits. Extreme heat, bushfires and floods all pose a risk to players, spectators and attendees alike.
“This Code is a framework to help arts and sports CEOs and Boards do some deep thinking about whether their values 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.”
The Calling Time report is the next step in a growing wave of action to kick fossil fuels out of sports, the arts and events. It builds on ongoing campaigns by a number of organisations, including 350.org, ACF and CommsDeclare.
The pledge can be found at: https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/sign-fossil-fuel-free-pledge/
For interviews please contact George Hyde on 0431 330 919 or Dylan Quinnell on 0450 668 350.
The Climate Council is Australia’s leading community-funded climate change communications organisation. We provide authoritative, expert and evidence-based advice on climate change to journalists, policymakers, and the wider Australian community.
For further information, go to: climatecouncil.org.au