Successes for the Fossil Free Culture movement

Artisits and faith groups protest BP sponsorship of the Arts in the British Musuem.
The Art Not Oil coalition of artists and activists gathers in the British Museum’s Great Court to send a message to oil sponsored institutions. Photo by Anna Branthwaite.

Most cultural institutions in the UK – and many in other countries – have now ended their sponsorship relationships with fossil fuel companies after over a decade of creative campaigning from members of the Art Not Oil coalition and arts workers.

They include:

UK

Institutions and organisations

Significant one-off events

International

Partial wins include:

  • London’s 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 to focus on renewables. However, the museum subsequently named a hall after climate-denial-funder Michael Hintze, and until recently, BP funded the museum’s BP micropalaeontology research project. The museum is yet to rule out future partnerships with fossil fuel companies.
  • The ‘Fringe World’ in Perth, Australia initially appeared to have ended its partnership with fossil fuel giant Woodside in June 2021. However, it appears that while Woodside is no longer a ‘title sponsor’ with its name appearing prominently in festival venues, it may be continuing as a corporate supporter of the event.

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.

A full list of UK cultural institutions that are still funded by oil companies can be found here.