Science museum

Science Museum signs ‘amazing’ new sponsorship deal with coal giant Adani

Just weeks after the Science Museum in London sparked angry protests and the possible resignation of a board member, for hosting an exhibition on the climate crisis sponsored by the oil company Shell, the museum now has entered into a sponsorship agreement with the main coal producer Adani.

The museum announced the creation of a new gallery sponsored by Adani as international investors gathered for a Global Investment Summit hosted at the museum by Boris Johnson, billed as an effort to build “the green economy of the future », Before the Cop26 climate summit. .

Adani’s sponsorship has been described as “astonishing” and “reckless” by environmentalists.

The Indian company, whose activities include coal mining, oil refining and gas distribution, as well as renewable energy projects, is currently planning to build one of the largest coal mines in the world, in Australia, where it is feared that this will have a serious impact. on the Great Barrier Reef.

The new “Energy Revolution” gallery is set to open in 2023 and will examine “how the world can undergo the fastest energy transition in history to tackle climate change,” the museum said.

Culture Unstained, a campaign group that aims to end sponsorship of cultural events by fossil fuel companies, said: “While declaring that it wants to be the largest renewable energy company in the world by 2030, Adani also increases its footprint by one hundred. “

Tony Bosworth, Friends of the Earth climate activist, said The independent that accepting Adani’s sponsorship was “unacceptable”.

“In the midst of a climate crisis, national institutions should not be part of the fossil fuel industry’s desperate attempts to whitewash its image.”

The alignment with a major coal producer comes immediately after 70 scientists called on the UK government to immediately halt any further investment in fossil fuels.

Coal remains the main contributor to the worsening climate crisis and the International Energy Agency has said new investments in coal, oil and gas must end this year in order to meet the targets of the Paris Climate Agreement.

The Science Museum is already under intense pressure to keep up with other London museums and art galleries and stop making sponsorship deals with oil and gas companies.

He currently has agreements with Shell, BP and Equinor, and has been accused of providing a platform for these companies for “greenwashing”.

On October 2, the museum’s former director, Professor Chris Rapley, resigned from his advisory board because of his “willingness to accept oil and gas sponsorship.”

In a statement, the Science Museum said: “The gallery will explore the latest climate science and the energy revolution needed to reduce global dependence on fossil fuels and meet the Paris targets to limit global warming to around 1.5 ° C above pre-industrial levels. “

Dame Mary Archer, President of the Science Museum Group, said: “We are extremely grateful to Adani Green Energy for the significant financial support they provide to this gallery.

“This gallery will take a truly global perspective on the world’s most pressing challenge. We face a serious threat, but the future is not predestined – it is still in our hands if we can build the coalition needed for urgent and far-reaching action.

Gautam Adani, President of Adani Green Energy, said: “The renewable energy revolution to get there has been remarkable. The limitless power of wind and sun is awesome and our ability to harness that power is finally within our grasp.

“There is so much to learn from the history of this trip as the world writes a cleaner future and who better than the team at the Science Museum to describe this inspiration.”

In response to a request for comments from The independent on the decision to partner with Adani, Sir Ian Blatchford, Director and CEO of the Science Museum, highlighted Adani’s renewable energy portfolio. The company is also expanding its parallel interests in fossil fuels.

“Adani Green Energy is an example of a company in the energy sector providing expertise and investments in large-scale renewable energy,” he said.

“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 past 10 years. coming years.

“And have no doubts, such massive investments are needed to shift India, a country of 1.38 billion people, from high carbon energy to low carbon energy at all times. by meeting their growing energy needs. And this sustainable energy must reach the vast network of rural communities, as well as cities. “


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