Oxford University ‘took at least £1.6m in donations from the fossil fuel industry’

Four oil and gas firms allegedly donated money to the university during the financial year 2020-2021

Big Zero Report 2022

Campaigners have claimed that Oxford University received at least £1.6 million in donations from oil and gas giants.

A report suggests that Oxford University received donations from oil and gas and petrochemical companies in the financial year 2020-2021 despite its 2035 net zero commitment.

The authors of the report, students of the university had previously asked for data on fossil fuel industry donations between 1st August 2020 and 31st July 2021 through a Freedom of Information request.

They claimed: “Oxford University finally provided this information to us in February 2022 which showed that the University accepted £1.6 million from four fossil fuel firms: bp, Eni SpA, Mitsubishi and Shell.”

An Oxford University spokesperson told ELN: “The University of Oxford safeguards the independence of its teaching and research regardless of the nature of their funding.

“Those donating money to the university have no influence over how academics carry out their research or what conclusions they reach.

“Researchers publish the results of their work whether the results are seen to be critical or favorable by industry or governments.

“Our research with different industries allows the university to apply its knowledge to real challenges of pressing global concern, with funding often going directly into research into climate-related issues and renewables.

“None of the philanthropic funding highlighted by the Guardian has gone into extraction and exploration research but has been used to widen access to education, to fund scholarships, academic posts, and capital costs.”

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