The UK’s Science Museum has “doubled” its sponsorship of climate exhibitions by fossil fuel companies, activists say, by receiving funding from a subsidiary of the Adani Group.
Adani is a conglomerate with significant holdings in coal, the most polluting fossil fuel. The Energy Revolution Gallery, which will open in 2023, will be sponsored by Adani’s Green Energy arm.
The museum said the gallery “will explore the latest climate science and the energy revolution needed to reduce global dependence on fossil fuels.” Dame Mary Archer, President of the Science Museum Group, said: “This gallery will take a truly global perspective on the world’s most pressing challenge. We are extremely grateful to Adani Green Energy for the significant financial support.
Campaigners called the move “astonishing” and “reckless”. The Science Museum has drawn strong criticism over sponsorship deals with oil and gas giants Shell, BP and Equinor. The agreement with Shell included a contractual clause binding the museum not to “harm the goodwill or the reputation” of the oil company.
Former museum director, climatologist Prof Chris Rapley, resigned from its advisory board October 2 on the issue. The museum hosts the Government’s World Investment Summit on Tuesday, as part of preparations for the crucial Cop26 climate summit later this month in Glasgow.
Adani said he wants to be the largest renewable energy company in the world by 2030. But it faces opposition in India and Australia on plans to expand its coal operations. Gautam Adani, chairman of the group, said: “The new gallery will explore how we can power the future through low carbon technologies. “
Jess Worth, of Culture Unstained, said: “Surprisingly, the museum management has doubled its efforts and signed on Adani – a coal conglomerate – to sponsor a gallery on energy transition. Their enthusiasm for partnerships with fossil fuels has turned the controversy into a crisis of credibility, and they must be held accountable for their reckless decisions. “
Adrian Burragubba, a traditional indigenous owner of land Adani targeted for a huge coal mine in Australia, said: “By putting this business on a pedestal, the Science Museum is complicit in Adani’s violation of our human rights and rights. destruction of our ancestral lands. “
Sir Ian Blatchford, Managing Director of the Science Museum, said: “Adani Green Energy already has one of the largest renewable energy portfolios in the world and plans to invest $ 20 billion in clean energy over the next 10 years. coming years. And there is no doubt that such massive investments are needed to shift India from high carbon energy to low carbon energy while meeting its growing energy needs. “
Shell sponsorship of the museum’s current climate exhibit, Our Future Planet, has been criticized by scientists, exhibition contributors and Greta Thunberg. On Sunday, protesters delivered a huge pile of trash bags at the museum to protest against the links with coal.