After Adani battle, fossil fuel activists shift gears to target sports and the arts

The battle for hearts and minds over fossil fuels is ramping up again as one activist group seeks to start a wave of rejection among sporting clubs and arts events.

May 18, 2023, updated May 18, 2023
The Wallabies and their Santos sponsorship (Photo: Santos)

The Wallabies and their Santos sponsorship (Photo: Santos)

Separately, Glencore is facing a frontal assault at its next annual general meeting where environmental groups are staging a proxy war over its alignment to the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility is part of a big push against Glencore, which is a major player in the Australian mining sector. A motion has been put to the Glencore AGM for greater transparency on how the company’s thermal coal production aligns with the Paris objective of keeping global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees.

Elsewhere, one of Queensland’s biggest coal buyers, Nippon Steel, has said it would shift away from using blast furnaces at its steel mills in favour of hydrogen once the furnaces end their economic life. It has also revealed plans for a green steel project in Australia or Brazil where there was easy access to iron ore and renewable energy.

South Korean giant Posco has also said it would invest $US40 billion in hydrogen manufacturing as well as green steel with partners in Australia by 2040.

It follows years of campaigns in Queensland against coal, which ultimately failed to stop the development of the most controversial project, Adani’s (Bravus) mine in central Queensland, but was still trying to thwart New Hope’s Acland expansion, near Oakey.

Activist group said its campaign would target fossil fuel sponsorships which are a major part of regional football clubs and cultural events.

“The gas and coal industries have been trying to buy public support for years,” told subscribers. “one of their favourite ways to do it is to sponsor our most beloved sports teams and arts organisations, splashing their logo all over stages, programs and jerseys.

“But together, we are fighting back. We’ve developed a pledge to create a wave of organisations who will commit to going fossil-free and rule out sponsorships deals with fossil fuel companies.

“If we start a wave of clubs, events and organisations loudly and proudly declaring they are going fossil free with their sponsorships we can undermine the insidious public influence of companies like Santos, Woodside and Whitehaven.”

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Last year, Santos was forced out of sponsoring the Darwin festival because of a backlash from activists. It is also a major sponsor of the Wallabies. Bravus is also a sleeve sponsor of the North Queensland Cowboys.

The campaign follows another legal hurdle for New Hope’s Acland coal mine expansion. Environmental group Oakey Action Against Coal lodged a case in the Land Court against the State Government’s approval of an associated water licence.

The case adds to more than 10 years of legal brawling over the project which was now underway near Oakey.

Glencore is also facing a campaign against a planned carbon capture and storage project in the Surat Basin.



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