Greenpeace slams Rugby World Cup sportswashing in animated video


Greenpeace has released a video calling out sportswashing at the Rugby World Cup, throwing criticism at sponsor Total Energies.

The animated video depicts a torrent of oil raining down on the Stade de France as the high flying New Zealand and France face off against each other.

Created by production company Studio Birthplace, the video shows the players covered in black hydrocarbon as a result of the episode.

Having previously been outspoken about sportswashing, including criticising INEOS over its bid to buy Premier League football club Manchester United, the video aims to raise awareness of fossil fuel companies using popular sports to gain traction.

It comes after Total Energies’ CEO and chairman Patrick Pouyanné said: “Integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect are key features of this sport, and they match our company’s values”

“More importantly, rugby is organised first and foremost around a team just like Total Energies: a collective of women and men committed to the energy transition.”


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Greenpeace France campaigner Edina Efiticen said: “Integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect. Those are rugby values.”

“But fossil fuel companies like Total Energies piggyback those values by sponsoring popular sports events like the Rugby World Cup, to distract from their climate destruction.

She continued: “Meanwhile, fossil fuel companies won’t stop extracting fossil fuels – even though they know its jeopardising a livable future for us all – because they like the record-breaking profits they’re making”.

Irish comedian and actor Seán Burke said: “We’re way past the point where sponsorship by fossil fuel companies should be acceptable. Their cute graphics and friendly animations are just a calculated attempt to maintain the status quo and extend a deadline that ran out years ago.”

“Make no mistake, the temperature rising is fine by them as long as the profits do too.”

Ifitecene added that Greenpeace were calling for a “complete ban on fossil fuel advertising and sponsorship at sporting events”.

“It benefits no one but fossil fuel companies, and deliberately distracts everyone from the environmental destruction they cause and the communities they harm.”

“For a safer and fairer world, we must end the fossil fuel era, starting with climate-wrecking new fossil fuel projects, before its too late.”


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