Science museum

Science Museum criticized for ‘reckless’ sponsorship deal | News

The Science Museum struck another sponsorship deal with a fossil fuel-funded company, turning the controversy into “a crisis of credibility.”

Climate change activists have hammered the institution, which announced on Tuesday (October 19th) that Adani Green Energy, a subsidiary of Indian energy conglomerate Adani Group, will sponsor a new gallery on climate change which will open in 2023.

Science Museum director Sir Ian Blatchford, a longtime advocate of its ties to oil giant Shell, also endorsed its new benefactor: “Adani Green Energy already has one of the largest renewable energy portfolios in the world and plans to invest $20 billion in clean power generation, component manufacturing, transmission and distribution over the next 10 years.”


Last August, the museum introduced itself as the first in the cultural sector to use the Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI) to assess potential partners. It required a score of 3 out of 4, which means the company is integrating emissions management into its operations.

A Science Museum spokesperson said it did not use the TPI to assess the Adani deal. Adani Green Energy is not rated by the TPI, which focuses on carbon-intensive companies.

However, the tool ranks Adani Enterprises, the Adani Group’s flagship coal mining company, as 1 out of 4 – the lowest possible ranking.

Campaign group Culture Unstained said it made fun of the museum’s own standards.

“Scientists, young people and even their own advisers were already leaving the science museum because of the oil sponsorship. But surprisingly, the management of the museum has doubled,” said co-director Jess Worth.

“Their enthusiasm for fossil fuel partnerships has turned the controversy into a crisis of credibility, and they must be held accountable for their reckless decisions.

“As COP26 approaches, the world needs climate leadership from the UK, not the unseemly sight of our famous science museum getting into bed with Big Coal.

About Adani

Adani Green Energy aims to be the largest renewable energy company in the world by 2030.

But critics say the subsidiary whitewashes the image of the big Adani Group.

Adani is prolific in Australian coal mining, with a 35,000 hectare mine currently under construction, with commercial scale operation expected by the end of the year.

The project has been the subject of legal action over its impact on the Great Barrier Reef and weak environmental assessments.

The mine site has traditionally belonged to the indigenous Wangan and Jagalingou peoples, who have occupied it in protest.

In accordance with the TPI, Adani Enterprises is committed to addressing climate change but does not have emission reduction targets.

The new gallery

Although the value of the sponsorship has not been disclosed, the Science Museum will use its existing collections and loaned objects to create the Adani Green Energy Revolution Gallery.

Artifacts, including an 1897 electric taxi, will help trace the history of transportation over the past 200 years.

Gautam Adani, president of Adani Green Energy, said there was a lot to learn from the decades-long transition to wind and solar power.

“Who better than the Science Museum team to represent this inspiration.”

The gallery will also explore climate science and the latest innovations in reducing dependence on fossil fuels, according to the Science Museum.

Museum president Dame Mary Archer said it needs “a truly global perspective on the world’s most pressing challenge”.

“We face a grave threat, but the future is not predestined – it is still in our hands whether we can build the coalition necessary for urgent and far-reaching action.”