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‘So out of touch it defies belief’ – Backlash as British Cycling partners with Shell

'So out of touch it defies belief' – Backlash as British Cycling partners with Shell

British Cycling has received heavy criticism after announcing a major sponsorship agreement with energy company Shell this week. The national federation claimed the long-term partnership…

Tuesday, Oct 11

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British Cycling has received heavy criticism after announcing a major sponsorship agreement with energy company Shell this week.

The national federation claimed the long-term partnership would ‘accelerate British Cycling’s path to net zero’, but it has triggered a sharp backlash from environmental groups and indeed its own membership.

Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth are among the organisations accusing British Cycling of enabling ‘greenwashing’, or providing a platform for a fossil fuel giant to brand themselves as environmentally friendly.

"The idea of Shell helping British Cycling reach net zero is as absurd as beef farmers advising lettuce farmers on how to go vegan," said Greenpeace UK policy director Dr Doug Parr.

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Most public-facing institutions have steered clear of sponsorship deals with major fossil fuel giants in recent years.

"After being booted out of museums and other cultural institutions, Big Oil are looking at sports as the next frontier for their brazen greenwash," Parr said. "But their aim hasn’t changed – to distract from the inconvenient fact that the fossil fuel industry is making our planet uninhabitable."Conservationist Chris Packham called it a ‘disaster’. "So out of touch it defies belief," he wrote on social media. "For a sport followed by so many who pedal for environmental and health benefits this is a disaster. Whatever you ‘win’ you’ve lost all credibility and it won’t be […]

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