Cricket Ireland have just handed the fossil fuel industry a social licence to continue to carry on business-as-usual despite the prevailing climate and biodiversity emergency, for which the oil industry have been significant contributors. I refer to the recently announced Certa sponsorship of Ireland’s Women’s cricket team.
By Tom Roche Image: Stephen McCarthy (Sportsfile)
9th May, 2023.
The oil industry, of which Certa is a major player in Ireland, have known for decades that fossil fuels are a threat to life. But instead of heeding the scientific evidence of climate change, biodiversity decline and associated human rights abuses caused by the extraction and use of their products, major oil firms buried the findings. Instead they spent millions of dollars to persuade us of just how socially-minded they are by hiring PR firms to greenwash their image. Current examples includes sponsorship deals with sports clubs such as the FAI deal with Circle K, the Texaco Support for Sports and now with Cricket Ireland.
Ireland is a wealthy country. We are ranked as the sixth richest country in the world in 2022 with a GDP per-capita of $85,267. On the other hand Ecuador only has a ‘projected’ GDP per capita of $5,646.00 for 2023 – down significantly from $10,850 for 2022. The GDP of the Republic of the Congo for 2023 is $533.82. While the GDP per Capita in Nigeria is expected to reach $2502.00 by the end of 2023.
Andrew Graham, Managing Director, Certa Ireland said: “Certa is excited to get behind such a progressive sport and trailblazing team. These women are the rising stars of Irish sport, and they share our values of pushing new boundaries and challenging the status quo. Their achievements are an inspiration to people of all ages, and they deserve a bigger spotlight.
I would ask Cricket Ireland to ask themselves why do oil companies like Certa, Texaco and Circle K want to give our sports clubs money? They didn’t ask the communities or sports clubs in the Niger Delta, the Congo basin or Ecuador’s Amazon basin if they wanted sponsorship. Would it not have made more sense if they did considering the vast amounts of oil they extract from these regions, the abject poverty, the human rights abuses and environmental devastation they leave behind.
They didn’t write to women’s sports clubs in said regions and ask them if they needed money to upgrade their meagre sports facilities or travel to international venues to play. No. Instead, they tell us that they want to share their apparent generosity with the wealthy people of Ireland. They want us to think they are good community corporations with our best interest at heart. The opposite is actually closer to the truth. Irresponsible businesses, including fossil fuel companies, are interested in only one thing – profiteering. The result of which is driving catastrophic climate change, human rights abuses as well as the destruction of climate-critical tropical forests, and the communities and biodiversity that rely on them.
Also, considering the vast profits oil companies like Certa are making and the huge increase in energy costs for cooking and heating, wouldn’t it have been better for them to help the hard pressed family’s struggling to put food on the table and heat their homes?
Warren Deutrom, Chief Executive of Cricket Ireland said: “We are delighted to announce this partnership with Certa as the new title sponsors of the Ireland Women’s cricket team. This is a great step forward for women’s cricket in Ireland, and to take this step with a renowned Irish brand is genuinely exciting. Certa and Cricket Ireland will be working together to grow the profile, brand and engagement of women’s and girls’ cricket, from grassroots to elite level.
Once again a major sporting body, Cricket Ireland, has been fooled by big oil into thinking they are providing sponsorship for the good of Ireland’s Women’s Cricket Team – the only winners here are the oil companies.
The Irish Petroleum Industry Association (IPIA), (recently re-branded as ‘Fuels For Ireland’) will hold what they describe on their website as their ‘inaugural’ conference on 23rd May, 2023, in the Sheraton Hotel, Athlone – please our events page. Just Forests will be there to highlight their misleading messages and greenwashing schemes. It’s time to give big oil sponsorship of sports a red card and kick them off the pitch. If any of your readers would like to accompany Just Forests on the day please contact Tom Roche @ 086 8049389.