This week, Greta Thunberg has been in the UK at Westminster Magistrates Court after pleading not guilty to a Public Order Section 14 charge. She allegedly failed to comply with police conditions at a protest outside the Energy Intelligence Forum – an event which hosted oil and gas industry leaders in London last November.
Undaunted, she supported activists last weekend in Farnborough protesting the expansion of private jet facilities at the airport there. Check out our full report here.
Last night, after the first day of trial, she also took part in a protest at the Science Museum in London where doctors, scientists and Extinction Rebellion activists targeted a debate on science predictions for 2024 on the panel of which was the museum’s Science Director Dr Roger Highfield.
After handing leaflets around the audience, a protester (retired GP Dr Katherine Fallon) announced an intention not to stop the event, but to remind the audience that museum sponsors Adani, along with Equinor and BP, are all still investing in oil and gas energy and even cutting back their commitment to renewables, despite global scientific and political warnings that this will breach Paris Agreement commitments to try and hold global heating below 1.5˚ C.
Another protester, infectious disease specialist Dr Kush Naker, took to the stage and stood quietly holding a banner that read ‘2024 – MORE DROUGHTS, FLOODS AND DEATHS FUELLED BY SCIENCE MUSEUM OIL AND COAL SPONSORS’.
The panel, chaired by Bobby Seagull, continued with their review of scientific events in 2023 and a forecast for the most important stories of 2024. The museum’s Science Director Dr Roger Highfield spoke about his concerns that the planet will likely exceed 1.5˚ heating this year, and may well trigger tipping points that lead to an unstoppable change in climate state.
At this point, some of the audience began laughing at the irony of the museum’s corporate sponsors being responsible for the director’s worst fears, and one asked “Why are you taking money from Adani?”
Dr Highfield’s response was that they were accepting sponsorship from ‘Adani Green’ – a solar energy company. Others in the audience shouted out that actually shares from Adani Green are being used as collateral (16 billion Aus dollars) for investment in a massive coalmining project in Australia, the Carmichael mine.
Greta Thunberg then spoke, referring to the museum’s own due diligence report which accused Adani of human rights abuses and corruption as well as environmental crimes. She asked directly whether this is what the museum stood for.
No answers were forthcoming, and the panel left the room to cries of ‘Shame On You’ from many in the audience.
The Adani Energy Revolution gallery is due to open in the Spring.
Science Museum representatives claim that scientific engagement with these large corporations will help the transition away from carbon intensive energy, but last year BP scaled back renewables spending and increased oil and gas investment, while Equinor is about to develop the huge Rosebank field in the North Sea.
Greta Thunberg and four co-defendants were acquitted of the Public Order charges at Westminster Magistrate’s Court this afternoon.