Greta Thunberg and eco-activists stage protest at Science Museum over 'oil and gas sponsorship'

Greta Thunberg and eco-activists stage protest at Science Museum over 'oil and gas sponsorship'

Eco protesters including Greta Thunberg staged a demonstration at the Science Museum on Thursday evening in a row over fossil fuel sponsorship.

Extinction Rebellion protesters hung banners reading: “2024, more droughts and floods - fuelled by Science Museum oil and gas sponsors” at a late opening of the renowned South Kensington museum.

The activists unfurled banners at a panel talk organised at the event on predictions for 2024, chaired by University Challenge contestant, Bobby Seagull.

On social media, an Extinction Rebellion-affiliated group, Scientists For XR, said the action was taken against the Adani sponsorship of the ‘Energy Revolution’ gallery due to open this spring.

The gallery will explore “how we can journey to a more sustainable future,” according to the Science Museum website.

Critics claim Adani's fossil fuel operations are fuelling the climate crisis and are at odds with the gallery’s aims.

Protesters at the Science Museum (Jonathon Vines)
Protesters at the Science Museum (Jonathon Vines)

The group also handed out leaflets criticising the museum’s past sponsorship deals with oil and gas firms, BP and Equinor.

However, the museum says the sponsorship is solely with Adani Green Energy, a renewables-focused subsidiary. It has also previously said that it "retains editorial control" within its galleries and exhibitions in any deals signed.

In footage posted from the event, Ms Thunberg can be heard to say: “It is about time to practise what you preach … Adani recently invested sixteen billion dollars in a new Australian coal mine. Is that what you stand for at the Science Museum?”

One onlooker, who did not wish to be named, said: “A group of protesters were walking around chanting about the Science Museum’s relationship with oil and gas sponsors, there was a very long queue to get in.”

A Science Museum spokesperson said: "During the evening there was a peaceful protest by Greta Thunberg and a small group of activists which colleagues responded to with great professionalism.

"Discussion, debate and at times disagreement are all part of how a democracy approaches critical issues such as climate change, which is at the core of our mission and many of the talks we organise.’

The 21-year-old from Sweden earlier on Thursday appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court after being arrested during a demonstration near the InterContinental Hotel in Mayfair on October 17.

Earlier this week, Ms Thunberg also joined climate change campaigners outside Farnborough Airport to protest against plans to increase private jet flights from 50,000 to 70,000 a year.