An Taisce calls for art competition boycott over fossil fuel funding

Published by Shamim Malekmian on

February 14th, 2019

An Environmental charity has called on the public to boycott the upcoming Children’s Art Competition over concerns with its sponsorship by the oil company Texaco.

An Taisce has questioned the continued involvement of the company in the competition, urging the Minister for Education Joe McHugh TD to secure alternative funding.

Now in its 65th year, the longest running children’s art competition has been sponsored by the oil company for many years.

Texaco is marketed in Ireland by Valero Energy, a Fortune 500 manufacturer and marketer of transportation fuels that was recently rated by the US Union of Scientists as a leading “obstructionist” in the US to emissions regulation. Valero Group did not immediately respond to The Green News’s request for comment.

“The fossil fuel industry, in narrow pursuit of its own profits, represents a clear danger to global civilisation, none more so than today’s children and teenagers,” John Gibbons of An Taisce’s climate committee said.

“The Texaco Children’s Art competition is an increasingly thin PR smoke-screen for an industry that has shown a reckless disregard for the future safety and well-being of the very children it invites to take part in its annual competition,” he added.

An Taisce stated that the cultural sector’s refusal to avail of sponsorships offered by the fossil fuel industry would send a clear message of growing public disapproval of their activities to those firms. The environmental charity has called attention to reports that the fossil fuel industry has been aware of the detrimental impact of its activities for decades.

A group of journalists from the Los Angeles Times and InsideClimate News recently revealed that Exxon, the world’s largest oil company, understood that its product was contributing to global warming in the 1970s, but did not pass on the information to the public.

According to documents obtained by reporters, Exxon’s own scientists had informed the company’s executives that doubling of the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere would increase global temperatures by between two and three degrees Celsius.

In 2015, the United Kingdom’s Science museum announced its withdrawal from a sponsorship deal with the giant oil company, Shell, for a climate change exhibition.

Companies including Lego as well as Amsterdam’s Van Gogh museum have also both dropped out of multimillion Euros deals with Shell.

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Shamim Malekmian

Shamim is a Senior Reporter at The Green News and a contributing writer to the Irish Examiner, Cork Evening Echo and the Dublin Inquirer.