British Cycling has signed a long-term deal with Shell UK which sees the British oil and gas company join the group as an official partner.
The news has received numerous complaints from the cycling community, prominently on social media, in regards to the ‘huge links’ the company’s products have with damaging the environment.
On the deal, Brian Facer, CEO of British Cycling, said: “We’re looking forward to working alongside Shell UK over the rest of this decade to widen access to the sport, support our elite riders and help our organisation and sport take important steps towards net zero – things we know our members are incredibly passionate about.”
However, British Cycling continues to be slammed over its decision – which has been described variously as ‘stupefying’, ‘disastrous’ and even ‘cynical’ – as a few show their disapproval by removing their memberships and trashing their cards.
“The idea of Shell helping British Cycling reach net zero is as absurd as beef farmers advising lettuce farmers on how to go vegan,” Greenpeace UK Policy Director Dr Doug Parr 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.”
Moreover, in British Cycling’s original statement, it highlighted that Shell has set five ambitions for 2030 to bolster energy security and help the UK towards net zero.
“Shell will also support British Cycling through steps such as helping to support British Cycling’s transition to an electric-vehicle fleet,” the governing body said.
Amidst the backlash, there are some who support the new collaboration on social media with suggestions regarding the fact that carbon bike frames are made from oil and ‘no one objects to those’.
Others also suggested that the organisation ‘isn’t an environmental body’ and ‘it’s their job to get big sponsorship’.