Durham students plan ‘die-in’, expressing disgust at the university’s links to the fossil fuel industry

Laying down the environmental law

Hide Images

A group of Durham students are planning to stage a “die-in” at a talk about the future of oil and gas this evening.

The event, hosted by the Durham Energy Institute, will see students from the People and Planet campaign group take to the floor in an attempt to block participants from entering the lecture hall where an industry expert will be speaking on “The Role of Oil and Gas Tomorrow”.

People and Planet are a student pressure group who have been campaigning for Durham University to divest from the fossil fuel industry since 2014.

A spokesperson from P&P said “For the University to host a talk that perpetuates the harmful assumption that gas and oil have a role to play in the future of energy production is irresponsible. It undermines the actions this educational institution have taken to distance themselves from the fossil fuel industry.”

Durham University currently has £1.5 million invested in fossil fuel companies. The International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP), of which Mr Olaf Martins – tonight’s speaker – is the Global Engagement Manager, are responsible for producing 40% of the world’s gas and oil.

Professor Jon Gluyas, Director of Durham Energy Institute, said, "Durham Energy Institute is committed to free expression and debate about the key issues that will impact upon our energy future."

Gluyas also mentioned that "We work with the petroleum industry to promote decarbonisation of energy and reduction of greenhouse emissions".