Science Museum: Climate activists in overnight protest over fossil fuel sponsors

1 month ago 19

Image source, PA Media

Image caption, This vigil was staged outside the Science Museum

Climate activists who slept overnight in London's Science Museum will approach the attraction's visitors to tell them about its sponsorship deals.

A new gallery funded by a subsidiary of the Adani Group, a multinational business involved in coal extraction, is due to open in 2023.

About 30 members of the UK Student Climate Network (UKSCN) camped out in the lobby as a protest on behalf of "victims" of fossil fuel companies.

No arrests have been made.

Image source, UKSCN

Image caption, The museum has also faced criticism for partnering with Shell to fund its Our Future Planet exhibition

Demonstrator Izzy Warren, 17, said the group, which includes school pupils, university students and scientists, chose to occupy the museum because the owners had ignored their petitions, letters and boycotts.

"We would really like to greet people who come to the museum this morning so they are aware of what they are supporting, and what they are paying for.

"The Science Museum is blatantly taking money from some of the worst perpetrators of the climate crisis."

The demonstration comes after the Science Museum last week announced a new gallery, called Energy Revolution: The Adani Green Energy Gallery, which is supported by a subsidiary of the Adani Group.

Image source, Getty Images

Image caption, The demonstration comes after the Science Museum last week announced a new gallery, called Energy Revolution: The Adani Green Energy Gallery

Biologist Dr Alexander Penson, who took part in the sit-in, said it was "appalling" the museum was persisting in fossil fuel sponsorship and starting a new relationship with Adani.

The activists said they negotiated with museum staff to be moved from the second floor of the building to the Energy Hall near the main entrance so that they would have access to toilets for the whole night.

The Science Museum is a major museum on Exhibition Road in South KensingtonFounded in 1857, it is one of the city's major tourist attractions, attracting 3.3 million visitors every yearIt is free to enter, although special exhibitions may incur a fee

The museum has also faced criticism for partnering with Shell to fund its Our Future Planet exhibition, which is about carbon capture and storage and nature-based solutions to the climate crisis.

The agreement with the fossil fuel giant included a gagging clause, committing the museum not to say anything that could damage Shell's reputation.

Image source, Tommy Vickerstaff

Image caption, The students have staged the protest against sponsorship by fossil fuel companies

A Met Police spokesperson said: "Officers attended and engaged with the protesters and museum staff.

"The protesters stated their intention was to remain in the museum overnight. This was agreed to by museum staff.

"No further police action was required."

The Science Museum has been approached for comment.

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