Warwick protesters call for BP archives to be removed from campus

Say no to oil, coal and gas

Tireless campaigners have petitioned the chancellor to shut down a BP archive based in the campus library.

An eight-week campaign is being run by the protesters, who earlier this summer persuaded the academic board to stop investing in coal, gas and oil companies.

Members of pressure group Fossil Free Warwick are now calling for a “total disengagement policy” when it comes to BP, as the fossil fuel giant have moved away from investing in renewables.

Leah Lapautre, a member of the group Fossil Free Warwick, pointed out holding BP archives sends a wrong message about the university’s position regarding fossil fuels.

She told The Guardian: “After successfully winning our campaign for divestment, we’re taking the fight straight to a major fossil fuel company this year.

“BP’s presence on Warwick’s campus is an insidious example of the close connection between the fossil fuel industry and our public institutions. To have the presence of BP’s corporate archive on our campus is outrageous, given the desperate need we have to break the power of this industry and take action on climate change. It legitimises their behaviour and sends the message that our community is OK with what BP is doing. It’s also inconsistent with Warwick’s pledge to stop investing in these companies.”

The campaigners also claim there are documents in the BP archives regarding research into renewable energy sources which was carried out in the 1970s and that these files are being deliberately kept away from students and members of the public.

Sonali Gidwani, a second year studying PPE at Warwick, said: “I don’t think BP will switch back to renewable energy sources unless they have a financial incentive to do so. They have no intention of saving the planet at the risk of losing their profit, market share,and economic power”.

She added in support of the campaign: “Warwick should not endorse BP in any way”.

BP refused to comment about Warwick’s upcoming campaigns but asserted oil and gas will continue to be essential forms of energy sources despite climate change being a legitimate threat.