Successes for the movement

As well as looking towards the battles ahead, it is important to reflect how far we – and the movement around the world – have come since starting to campaign to end oil sponsorship of cultural institutions.

To date the main cultural institutions who have dropped fossil fuel sponsorship completely (most following significant creative campaigns) are: TateNational Gallery, Canadian Museum of HistoryAmerican Museum of Natural History (and David Koch was also forced to resign from its board), Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Field Museum in Chicago, Edinburgh International Festival, Mauritshuis and Museon in The Hague and Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.

The Southbank Centre ended Shell’s sponsorship of the Shell Classic International concerts after a series of singing protests, although the company is still a corporate partner. The Natural History Museum used to be sponsored by Shell (specifically the Wildlife Photographer of the Year award). Under pressure, it shifted to DONG Energy/Orsted which has now divested from fossil fuels.

There’s also a growing international community of arts organisations and artists who have committed never to take fossil fuel sponsorship by signing up to the Oil Sponsorship Free commitment. They include the Royal Court and Arcola theatres and several live art organisations.