SpoArts WASH: Exposing Ireland’s Fossil Fuel Sponsorship Culture
A discussion resource entitled SpoArts WASH: Exposing Ireland’s Fossil Fuel Sponsorship Culture supported by a brief schools focused resource on the topics of sportswashing and artswashing in Ireland with a focus on the practices of the company Texaco.
“For us, rejecting fossil fuel company greenwashing needs considerably greater public education, debate and action including directly challenging greenwashing initiatives in Ireland. In pursuing this agenda, we have experienced very considerable opposition to doing this – opposition from media, educational and sports bodies, non-governmental organisations and ‘celebrities’. The time has come to challenge this and to be forthright about highlighting the agendas of the fossil fuel sector in Ireland and abroad. Specifically, we want to directly challenge two initiatives by Texaco in Ireland – the Texaco Art Competition and the Texaco Sports Grants scheme. Both are blatant examples of fossil fuel company greenwashing. Both seek to involve the public, including children and sport, in generating an aura of acceptability for the greenwash agenda.”These two companion resources, a ‘key arguments’ briefing and a supporting schools ‘debates’ resources seek to:
- Highlight the various ways in which fossil fuel companies, in this case Texaco, use sports and the arts to attempt to soften and polish their image and to insinuate themselves into the artistic and social fabric of the country.
- Confront the storyline that Texaco promotes of itself as a supporter of community values and endeavour and to outline the company’s record as a significant global polluter and as an abuser of indigenous communities, their rights, and their environments across the world.
- Generate a broad coalition of support among arts, sports and non-governmental organisations for a boycott of all Texaco and other fossil fuel companies’ sponsorship schemes and agendas.
- Encourage those associated with the Texaco art competition (including schools) and its sports grants scheme to reflect on the direct threat that fossil fuel companies represent in terms of environment, rights, and climate change and to disassociate themselves from Texaco without delay.
- Challenge those who ignore, promote, or defend the Texaco agenda and to highlight how that conflicts with other agendas such as children’s rights worldwide.