PRESS RELEASE: Activists occupy Imperial College London to protest fossil fuel funded research


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Imperial College University accepts millions of pounds from the fossil fuel industry, more than any other university in the UK, in order to fund research projects.

Imperial

Activists occupy Imperial College London to protest fossil fuel funded research

For immediate release (1/5/15)

Contact Reclaim the Power media on: 07597136793

Reclaim the Power activists have today occupied and staged a performance at the Department of Mining, Imperial College London University on Exhibition Road to protest against the University accepting millions of pounds from the fossil fuel industry, more than any other university in the UK, in order to fund research projects.

Around 10 people entered the site in the afternoon. Some preceded to act out the invisible relationship held between big businesses like Shell and BP and the University department whilst others opened up banners and took to the front stairs to inform passing members of the public. Lots of passing students engaged positively with the group, and discussed concerns about their university’s links with the fossil fuel industry. The university has a student-run divestment campaign working to prevent the university profiting from investments in the fossil fuel industry.

The Department of Mining has received £17.3m from Shell and BP alone, alongside many other international corporations which are all fuelling dangerous climate change. The fact that companies fund university research means that the results are inevitably biased which in turn influences teaching and taints knowledge shared beyond the University.

Climate change is causing over 300,000 deaths per year worldwide* due to natural disasters which have more than doubled since the 1980s** at a time when renewable energy is becoming ever more affordable.

Sarah of Reclaim the Power said ‘we hope that this action will reveal the corrupt nature between academia and climate destroying fossil fuel companies. We want to see a renewable future which is fairer for people and the planet.”

NOTES:

1. Imperial College London provide “fossil fuel degrees” such as an MSc in petroleum geophysics. They received more research funding from fossil fuel companies than any other UK institution (£17.3m from Shell and BP alone) 
Research projects they give as examples include Total-funded experimental physics research into how to get more oil out of reservoirs and BP-funded projects to remotely assess the condition of machinery in refineries: http://platformlondon.org/2014/02/13/floods-fossil-fuel-subsidies-and-the-daily-mail/

2. As well as research funding, Imperial receive donations, sponsorships and consultancy deals with BP, Total, Shell, Schlumberger, Statoil, EDF, Anglo American, Aramco, ConocoPhillips, Exxon, Texaco, British Gas and npower they invite oil executives onto university committees and present themselves publicly as “a fossil fuel university”.

3. Professor Gringarten, Chair of Petroleum Engineering has said: “From Anglo American to Total, researchers at Imperial have worked with some of the largest names in the industry. Many of them even used to work for those same companies before moving into academic research. My advice to companies? Visit us! Come and see us and talk to us about your needs, we’re in the best position to try to solve problems.”

4. http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/fossil-fuel-ties-with-universities-highlighted-by-report/2008360.article

5. http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/analysis/2301676/uk-universities-urged-to-ditch-extensive-fossil-fuel-link

6. http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/oct/22/are-our-universities-fossil-fuelled

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