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The National Press Club (NPC) says its role is defending press freedom but is that mission at odds with its corporate sponsors?

This April, the outgoing head of the Net Zero Economy Agency, Greg Combet, addressed the nation’s media at the National Press Club.

But as he spoke about how Australia is poised to grasp the opportunities of a green energy economy, the old economy was sitting in the wings.

The NPC has many sponsors tied to fossil fuels, headlined by major polluter, Woodside Petroleum.

Its Principal Partner is Westpac, which has loaned at least $9 billion to fossil fuels since the Paris Agreement was signed.

Others include CT Group, the agency reportedly behind an infamous astroturfing campaign on behalf of Glencore.

Another agency sponsor, SEC Newgate, has seven fossil fuel clients while Hawker-Britton has four, according to the Comms Declare and Clean Creatives F-list.

The Federal Parliament Press Gallery dropped all sponsors of its Midwinter Ball in 2023 following protests about fossil fuel influence from politicians and environment groups. The Walkley Awards is reviewing its sponsorship policy due to similar complaints.

But, at the NPC, the dodgy ties remain.

Its other sponsors include arms dealers Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. Classy.