Greenpeace, the environmental campaigning organization, has urged the organizers of rugby union’s 2023 men’s Rugby World Cup to drop French energy firm TotalEnergies from its list of official sponsors.

Greenpeace is taking this stance due to TotalEnergies’ decision not to terminate its operations in Russia – as a myriad of other international brands and companies have done – in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine in late February.

It has written to Claude Atcher, the 2023 Rugby World Cup’s general manager, expressing these sentiments.

In the latter, Greenpeace states: “The sponsoring of the 2023 Rugby World Cup was already a real aberration in view of the climate emergency, it is all the more aberrant as the oil and gas major maintains its activities in Russia, taking the risk to participate in the financing of Vladimir Putin’s war.”

Unlike energy rivals Shell and BP, TotalEnergies has failed to divest its various Russian oil and gas assets.

TotalEnergies signed up as a second-tier sponsor of the 2023 RWC in June last year.

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Russia’s national rugby federation, as well as that of Belarus (which has materially aided Russia in its invasion), was suspended from all international games and tournaments in February.

In an official statement to Reuters, TotalEnergies has said: “In choosing TotalEnergies as an official sponsor of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France, the organization committee is trusting a historical partner of French rugby and a player engaged in energy transition as we are working to make this event environmentally virtuous through a de-carbonated mobility plan and the supply of green energy.”

Last week, France Pare-Brise, a car window repair, and replacement firm, struck a deal to become an official supporter (the lowest commercial partnership category available) of the event.

The five worldwide partners for the tournament are financial services firm Societe Generale, international credit card giant Mastercard, Asahi Breweries, IT firm Capgemini, and UK automotive brand Land Rover, while eight official sponsors and 12 official suppliers are also on board.

The 2023 Rugby World Cup will be held across 10 French cities between September 8 and October 28 next year.