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To: British Museum and Royal Opera House

Stop supporting BP

It's been confirmed that after 27 years, BP’s sponsorship of the British Museum’s exhibitions has ended!

This is a HUGE win for the movement for fossil free culture and everyone who has played a role in this campaign, including climate activists, culture campaigners, arts workers, youth strikers - and particularly those frontline groups directly impacted by BP that we were honoured to work with.

Stop helping one of the world's biggest polluters to clean up its image: end your sponsorship deal with BP.

Why is this important?

The British Museum and The Royal Opera House are sponsored by the climate-wrecking oil giant BP. The arts are supposed to help us understand and explore important issues like climate change. Instead, these institutions are promoting a company that is making the problem worse.

BP is one of the companies most responsible for the climate crisis. It is the 11th biggest corporate source of greenhouse emissions in history. 97% of BP’s business is still in oil and gas extraction, with just 3% of its investments going into renewables. The company spends tens of millions every year lobbying to stop new climate laws and slow down the growth of cleaner energy, and plans to invest £41 billion into new oil projects over the next 10 years.

While BP rakes in huge profits, people around the world – especially those least responsible for the crisis in the Global South – are being hit by devastating droughts, floods and storms. BP also has close relationships with repressive governments around the world, who crack down hard on opposition to the company’s operations.

By signing a sponsorship deal with BP, these big arts institutions are helping the oil company get away with this behaviour, giving it a mask of respectability to hide its true actions.

It’s time for the arts to stop promoting Big Oil.

Learn more and get involved in the campaign:

More information

Under the current deal, the British Museum puts on a major BP-branded exhibition every year; the National Portrait Gallery holds the globally-famous BP Portrait Awards; the Royal Opera House holds “BP Big Screens” in public squares around the country; and the Royal Shakespeare Company has put BP branding on its discount tickets for 16-25 year olds (although - two major campaign victories! - on October 4th 2019 the RSC announced it was ending its BP sponsorship, and on February 22nd 2022 the National Portrait Gallery also announced the end of its partnership with BP, and so we have removed the RSC and NPG from this petition).

These institutions only receive between 0.5% and 1.3% of their annual income from BP. In return, the oil company gets to cover up its real activities and present itself as a normal and respectable part of society, rather than a company that is actively worsening the climate crisis. BP also gets to host swanky events at the venues it sponsors, giving it networking opportunities and helping it to make new business deals.

Communities in Argentina, West Papua, Mexico, and Azerbaijan – to name but a few – have faced violence and imprisonment for standing up against BP’s extraction, pollution and corruption. BP continues to work closely with human rights-abusing regimes to gain access to their oil and gas, including jointly sponsoring exhibitions with the Egyptian and Russian governments at the British Museum.



2023-06-08 15:04:51 +0100

Petition is successful with 79,314 signatures

2019-08-09 19:36:28 +0100

50,000 signatures reached

2019-07-08 18:41:33 +0100

20,000 signatures reached

2019-07-08 17:00:54 +0100

10,000 signatures reached

2019-06-21 15:33:13 +0100

5,000 signatures reached

2019-06-18 17:01:56 +0100

1,000 signatures reached

2019-06-18 09:54:44 +0100

500 signatures reached

2019-06-18 06:29:18 +0100

100 signatures reached

2019-06-18 02:34:03 +0100

50 signatures reached

2019-06-18 00:50:23 +0100

25 signatures reached

2019-06-17 23:55:47 +0100

10 signatures reached