Royal Opera House - Cut ties with toxic BP!
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It’s wrong that the Royal Opera House renewed its contract with BP in 2016. This important, tax-funded national institution must cut its ties with BP.
BP sponsors the arts to generate good publicity. It helps BP present itself as a caring, generous member of the community, whilst continuing to destroy the environment and contribute to human rights abuses around the world.
We know that to avoid dangerous climate change we must leave 80% of known fossil fuel reserves in the ground. Yet BP intends to continue expanding its oil extraction activities, causing deadly climate change, whilst lobbying against environmental laws. BP has invested at least £1.6 billion in tar sands extraction in Canada.
BP needs the Royal Opera House more than it needs BP. BP provides less than 1% of the income of the Royal Opera House. Furthermore, recent research has shown that - in light of the £210 million per year subsidies given to BP - we can say that BP arts sponsorships are really funded by us, the taxpayers.
There should be increased Government funding for the arts. This could be more than paid for by ending subsidies to BP.
Cultural organisations are already cutting links with BP. In 2016, both the Tate and the Edinburgh International Festival dropped BP. This didn’t stop the Edinburgh Festival producing a fantastic programme of world-leading performance art in August 2016.
Hundreds of individual artists and arts organisations have already made the Oil Sponsorship Free Commitment not to accept funding from fossil fuel companies.
Alex Beard, Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House : Follow the Tate and Edinburgh International Festival and cut ties with toxic BP!
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