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Dismantling The Fossil Fuel University Report Release


This morning we have released a report investigating the wider links between the University of Cambridge and the fossil fuel industry. We found that it is not only through the investments of its endowment that our university supports and legitimises the destructive practices of the fossil fuel industry. The University also assists fossil fuel companies through extractive research, by acting as a platform for their greenwashing, and creating a revolving door for fossil fuel executives and university officials. Here are our most shocking findings:

❗️ The University of Cambridge has received over £18 million in research funding from fossil fuel companies since 2001, £12.8 million of which was received between 2015-18.

❗️ The BP institute is a large research facility affiliated with the University with an explicit focus on multiphase flow in oil pipes.Technology developed at the Institute has contributed to increased profits from fossil fuel extraction of $300 million-3 billion per year.

❗️ CASP is a research group affiliated with the Department of Earth Sciences whose primary goal is finding and characterising new oil reserves across the globe. Its projects are funded by annual subscriptions by fossil fuel corporations. CASP is also a registered charity.

❗️ Fossil fuel companies sponsor a number of named professorships including the BP Professorship of Chemistry, the Shell Professor of Chemical Engineering, and the Schlumberger Professorship of Complex Physical Systems.

❗️ The University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Enterprise and Business Relations, Andy Neely is also a consultant to BP.

❗️ 5 members of the University’s Finance Committee have links with the fossil fuel industry.

Given the imminent danger of the climate crisis we as a society believe it is unacceptable and immoral for our university to continue supporting the fossil fuel industry in so many ways. Following our investigation we are making the following demands of the University of Cambridge:


❌ Stop accepting donations and research grants from fossil fuel companies
❌ Stop accepting sponsorships and advertising from fossil fuel companies
❌ Stop inviting fossil fuel companies to careers fairs hosted by the University or its constituent faculties
❌ Stop awarding honorary fellowships and inviting fossil fuel executives to speak on academic platforms

BY 2021 –

❌ Remove named branding of fossil fuel companies in buildings, departments, prizes, scholarships and academic appointments
❌ Cut all extractive research conducted by the University
❌ Establish a programme to find alternative modes of funding for researchers
❌ End formal consultancy and training of fossil fuel companies and halt fossil fuel commercialisation of academic research
❌ Divest fully from fossil fuels and reinvest in climate solutions

Read the full text of our report here.