As well as looking towards the battles ahead, it is important to reflect how far we – and the Fossil Free Culture 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:
- Tate Galleries, London
- Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon
- National Gallery, London
- National Theatre, London
- Canadian Museum of History
- American Museum of Natural History (and David Koch was also forced to resign from its board)
- Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
- Field Museum, Chicago
- Edinburgh International Festival
- Mauritshuis and Museon in The Hague
- Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
- Edinburgh Science Festival
Partial wins include:
- The Southbank Centre in London ended Shell’s sponsorship of the Shell Classic International concerts after a series of singing protests, although the oil company is still a corporate partner.
- 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 BP sponsors the museum’s BP micropalaeontology research project.
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.