Environmental groups including Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace UK have branded oil and gas giant Shell’s eight year partnership deal with British Cycling an "absurd" and "cynical PR initiative".
British Cycling said that its long term deal with Shell will bring in “wide-ranging support and investment” as well as helping to accelerate the organisation’s path to net zero.
However, Friends of the Earth told Cycling Weekly that Shell should have been told to “get on its bike” by British Cycling instead of a long term partnership deal being inked between the two.
Friends of the Earth energy campaigner Jamie Peters said: “Cycling is the epitome of environmentally friendly travel. It’s deeply disappointing that British Cycling could think it’s appropriate to partner with a fossil fuel giant. Shell is continuing to invest billions in oil and gas projects, while using cynical PR initiatives like this partnership to attempt to greenwash its harmful activities.
"Tobacco firms are rightly banned from sports sponsorship due to the damaging health effects. The same should apply to oil and gas companies which are devastating the health of our planet. Shell should have been told to get on its bike.”
Greenpeace UK policy director Dr Doug Parr said the idea that Shell would help the national governing body reach net zero was "as absurd as beef farmers advising lettuce farmers on how to go vegan".
He said: "After being booted out of museums and other cultural institutions, Big Oil are looking at sports as the next frontier for their brazen greenwash. […]