The United Kingdom‘s National Theatre has decided to end its partnership with energy group Royal Dutch Shell as part of a broader “climate emergency” initiative to reduce its carbon impact.
The move came days after the UK’s Royal Shakespeare Company said it would drop BP Plc as a sponsor after young people told the theatre group its association with the energy company made them less likely to go to see its plays.
“The National Theatre has declared a climate emergency today … Shell have been valued and long-standing supporters of the National Theatre … This membership will come to an end in June 2020,” a National Theatre spokeswoman said.
In a statement posted to its website, the National Theatre acknowledged that the theatre industry contributed to environmental issues but said it believed “theatre can be part of the solution”.
“We tell stories, shape culture and encourage empathy and understanding. Our industry is made up of creative and inspiring people who are motivated to make change,” the statement read.
Shell, which had been giving the theatre between 15,000 and 30,000 pounds ($18,469-$36,963) a year as a corporate member, said that “heightened awareness of climate change … is a good thing”.
“As a company, we agree that urgent action is needed. What will really accelerate change is effective policy, investment in technology innovation and development, and changing customer behaviour,” a Shell spokesman added.