Faculty and senior staff at the University of Cambridge are poised to vote on a measure that would require the university to stop accepting funding from coal, oil and gas companies. It would be the first leading university in the world to do so, and a vote could happen as early as this fall.
An investigation by The Guardian newspaper found that Cambridge University had accepted £14 million, or about $17 million, from oil giants between 2017 and 2021, second in Britain only to Imperial College London, which focuses on science and engineering. This is a critical vote which would call on the school to end its corporate partnerships with oil & gas companies such as BP and Shell and disallow fossil fuel funding.
It is no surprise that climate activists are increasingly turning their focus to the millions of dollars that universities accept from the fossil fuel industry for research, sponsorships, and collaborations. These donations allow companies to greenwash their images by appropriating prestige and environmental credentials even as they continue to invest billions in new fossil fuel projects that are heating the planet to dangerous levels. When climate and energy research programs are financially dependent on oil and gas funding, it poses a huge problem in terms of informational and research independence. Thus, a vote to cut ties with coal, oil, and gas companies will be a brave shift away from promoting careers in oil, and a range of research projects that involve fossil fuel development.
UK universities took £89m from oil firms in last four years https://www.theguardian.com/education/2021/dec/11/uk-universities-took-89m-from-oil-firms-in-last-four-years
The fossil fuel industry's invisible colonization of academia | Benjamin Franta and Geoffrey Supran http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2017/mar/13/the-fossil-fuel-industrys-invisible-colonization-of-academia
Kicking oil companies out of school https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/16/climate/cambridge-university-oil-gas-funding.html