London Science Museum Accused of ‘Jumping Into Bed With Big Coal’ After Adani Sponsorship

The London Science Museum sparked both disappointment and outrage on Tuesday after the institution announced that a new gallery related to the climate emergency will be sponsored by an arm of coal giant Adani.

“I can’t believe that the Science Museum – of all institutions and this of all years – has accepted money from Adani, one of the biggest climate criminals.” tweeted Co-founder of Global Witness Patrick Alley, called it “an incredibly stupid decision”.

Indo-Australian climate activist Varsha Yajman called it “embarrassing that the Science Museum supports Adani, an enterprise that ignores and destroys science that should be sacred and preserved to indigenous peoples of India and Australia”.

She added that “if the science museum continues, like Adani, it will take away the fundamental rights of indigenous peoples in India and Australia.”

According to a statement from the London Science Museum on Tuesday The new “Energy Revolution” gallery is slated to open in 2023 and is supported by “substantial financial support” from Adani Green Energy, a renewable energy subsidiary of the India-based Adani Group, whose advocacy groups accuse them of trampling on human rights and fueling them the climate emergency through its extensive coal mining activities around the world.

Science Museum Group Chair Mary Archer said the “Energy Revolution” “would take a truly global perspective on the world’s most pressing challenge.”

The statement also included comments from Adani Chairman Gautam Adani, who said: “There is so much to learn from the history of this journey as the world writes a cleaner future and who better to portray that inspiration than the Science Museum team. “

The institution had been criticized by climate activists earlier this year after Culture Unstained announced that the institution had signed a “toggle clause” with the oil giant Shell prohibiting it from criticizing the oil company under an exhibition sponsorship deal. The previous sponsorship of the science museum by oil giants BP and Equinor reinforced this criticism.

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Jess Worth of Culture Unstained noted in a statement Tuesday that news of Adani funding came the same month a former museum director resigned from the science museum’s advisory board over the issue of fossil fuel industry sponsorship. It was also particularly noteworthy – and egregious – she said in light of the United Nations climate change summit, which begins at the end of the month and is hosted by the United Kingdom.

“Scientists, young people and even their own consultants have already left the science museum for oil exploration. But surprisingly, the museum management has doubled and signed Adani – a coal company – to sponsor a gallery about the energy transition! “said Worth.

“Their enthusiasm for fossil fuel partnerships has turned the controversy into a credibility crisis and they must be held accountable for their reckless choices,” she said. “As COP 26 approaches, the world needs Britain’s climate leadership, not the unseemly sight of our once-renowned science museum jumping into bed with big coal.”

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