The Climate Council, an environmental advocacy group, has initiated a revolutionary code for sports clubs and arts institutions. This voluntary code is designed to motivate these bodies to discontinue fossil fuel sponsorship across their uniforms, stadiums, and events.
The council has garnered the support of several spokespeople, including renowned athletes, scholars, and artists, all prepared to comment on this radical initiative.
Sports’ Role in Creating Cultural Change
Amy Steel, a former Australian Diamonds netballer and fervent climate change advocate, emphasized the pivotal role sport plays in effecting cultural change. She asserted, “Sport sponsorship is known as a way for companies to buy their social license, by using the high cultural value of the sports clubs we know and love.”
She further highlighted the immediate need for this change, underlining that even though sports does not contribute significantly to emissions, allowing fossil fuel companies to gain endorsement slows down the crucial evolution towards a more eco-conscious world. Steel encouraged sports to play its part in steering society towards a sustainable climate future, making it clear that, “There is no time to waste, we need to take action, and this new voluntary Code helps us to go about it.”
Artists Raise their Collective Voice for a Livable Future
Award-winning choreographer and dance artist, Aimee Smith, articulated the artists’ perspective, noting the considerable challenge they face in expressing their stance on fossil fuel sponsorship. “Saying no to the presence and sponsorship of fossil fuel companies in our theatres, music festivals and sports arenas is one of the most powerful ways we can send a clear message that we demand a livable, beautiful and just future for us all,” she declared.
Smith rallied artists to understand and harness their collective power, cultural influence, and extensive social reach in a unified call for change.
Safeguarding Natural Spaces for Future Generations
Echoing these sentiments, Tully White, Australian women’s longboarding champion and Surfers for Climate member, emphasized the urgency of rejecting fossil fuel sponsorship in light of rising sea levels, coastal erosion, and amplified extreme weather events.
Values and Ethics Drive Artmaking
Kelli McCluskey, chief executive artist of pvi collective, expressed the audience’s disapproval of the arts’ association with fossil fuels. She stressed the importance of upholding the integrity of art and artists by not compromising their values and ethics through ‘artwashing.’
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Shifting Funding Away From Fossil Fuels
Dr Carmen Lawrence, academic, politician, and former Premier of Western Australia, highlighted the importance of distancing sporting and arts bodies from fossil fuel funding. She encouraged the exploration of alternative funding sources and stressed the importance of protecting Western Australia’s unique landscapes and biodiversity.
Guiding a Sustainable Future
Sophia Nimphius, Professor of Human Performance at Edith Cowan University and code co-author, emphasised the effects of climate change on daily life, sports, arts, and events. She expressed hope that the new guidelines would inspire organisations to pursue sponsors that align with their values and a shared vision for a sustainable future.