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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Student societies’ links to BP revealed

Matt Schaffel reports on the links between some of Oxford’s student societies and British Petroleum.

Following on from the recent report published by the Oxford Climate Justice Campaign uncovering the links between Oxford and the fossil fuel industry, Cherwell has researched the ties several STEM-based student societies have with BP, the British multinational oil and gas company. 

BP has contributed as a sponsor to the Oxford Chemistry and Biochemistry society, Oxford Energy society and Oxford Women in Engineering, Science, and Technology (OxWEST). The company has provided generals funds to support their ongoing operations and events. Currently, all three societies continue to list BP as an active sponsor on their websites.

When asked for comment on this issue, Yurim Park, president of the OxWEST society told Cherwell: “Our partnership with BP has been great so far, we got to hear about the company’s change in strategy and future ambitions to become net zero by 2050 or sooner. The event we had with BP was engaging and helpful to our members. Their contribution was added to the society’s general fund.”

A spokesperson for the Oxford Climate Justice Campaign told Cherwell: “BP has knowingly perpetuated the climate crisis and upheld global injustice for decades. This is demonstrated by BP’s willingness to collude with the Indonesian government to extract profit from West Papuan land, where 500,000 West Papuans have been killed since 1963.”

“BP’s climate commitments remain ‘grossly insufficient’ and are not aligned with the Paris Agreement. BP is one of the corporations most culpable for the ecological destruction we are witnessing. There can be no more chances for BP.”

“We urge every student society to cut its ties to BP and the fossil fuel industry. Fossil fuel companies want to use the talent and intelligence of our student body to legitimise and further their own destructive practices.

“BP’s responsibility for the climate crises shows it does not care about your future. It is time all of us stopped caring about BP’s future as well.”

Oxford Energy Society, Oxford Chemistry and Biochemistry Society, and BP have been contacted for comment.

Image Credit: Kouji Tsuru/Unsplash.com

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