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Environmentalists claim victory as BP scraps Edinburgh International Festival sponsorship

Environmental groups are claiming success after oil major company BP chose to end its 34 year association with the Edinburgh International Festival, just one year after calling a halt to its sponsorship of the Tate art collection – a role it had performed for 26 years.

BP blamed its withdrawal on ‘an extremely challenging business environment’ but campaigners believe the decision had more to do with their efforts to end what they see as an unethical acceptance of cash from a company responsible for climate change.

Celebrities including actors Emma Thompson and Mark Rylance had adopted this stance alongside environmental group Friends of the Earth.

Confirming the move on Twitter Festival organisers said: “They [BP] have not renewed sponsorship this year. They’ve been great supporters but all sponsorships come to an end.”

A BP spokesperson said: “We are delighted to have supported the Edinburgh International Festival for a number of years. However, as a result of the current business environment, we have reluctantly decided not to renew our sponsorship this year. We wish the festival all the best in its preparations.”

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