UK National Theatre to end Shell link in 'climate emergency'

FILE PHOTO: People watch on from the National Theatre as others get arrested during the Extinction Rebellion protest on Waterloo Bridge in London, Britain April 20, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's National Theatre has decided to end its partnership with energy group Royal Dutch Shell RDSa.L as part of a broader "climate emergency" initiative to reduce its carbon impact.

The move came in the week that the Royal Shakespeare Company said it would drop BP Plc BP.L as its sponsor after young people told the theater group its association with the energy company turned them off going to its plays.

“The National Theatre has declared a climate emergency today ... Shell have been valued and longstanding supporters of the National Theatre ... This membership will come to an end in June 2020,” a National Theatre spokeswoman said.

Shell, which had been giving the theater around 15,000 pounds a year as a corporate member, said “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 deployment, and changing customer behavior,” a Shell spokesman added.

Reporting by Shadia Nasralla; Editing by Giles Elgood