Game over for fossil fuel sponsorships: Climate Council launches new code urging arts, sports bosses to sign

31.05.23 By

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. 

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.  

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. 

Dr Jennifer Rayner, Climate Council Head of Advocacy, 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.”

Greg Bourne, energy expert and Climate Councillor, added: “There’s no doubt Australians are mad about 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 our national pastimes. In recent years, we’ve witnessed festivals descending into muddy, flooded chaos, bushfires encroaching on major concerts, and unsafe heat stopping play at the tennis. It is imperative that we swiftly move away from all fossil fuels.” 

Dr Ashlee Morgan, report co-author from Edith Cowan University’s School of Business and Law, said: “Climate change is already reshaping our way of life, and sports, arts, and event organisers can seize the moment and lead by example. By removing fossil fuel sponsorships, we can send a powerful message that we prioritise the health and well-being of our communities.

“The code we’ve developed together with the Climate Council provides practical guidance for organisations to divorce themselves from fossil fuel sponsorships and forge new partnerships with companies that align with their values and our sustainable future.”

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 builds on ongoing campaigns by numerous organisations, including and CommsDeclare.

The pledge can be found here.

For interviews please contact Dylan Quinnell on 0450 668 350 or George Hyde on 0431 330 919

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.

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