The Lower House is soon to debate the connections between the universities and the fossil fuel industry. Sandra Beckerman, SP member of the Lower House, requested the debate with the Ministers of Economic Affairs, and Education, Culture and Science on Tuesday afternoon.

Beckerman made this request in response to the research report published by sustainability think-tank, Changerism, on Tuesday. According to that report the Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) is facilitating climate change through its close connections with the fossil fuel industry.

Critical report

The report contains various examples of relationships between the faculty, its scientists and companies in the fossil fuel industry. For instance, it states in an agreement between Shell and RSM, that the company can influence the design of the curriculum and the company paid over 300,000 euro for an RSM research study into the business climate for head offices of multinationals. The Shell funding of this research was not mentioned.

Last Friday Beckerman also spoke critically about Shell’s involvement in scientific research. Research funder, NWO, has established a national research programme regarding the safety of drilling into the Dutch bedrock. Shell, which was involved via NAM in the gas extraction in Groningen, pays 15 million euro towards this programme.

It is not yet known when the debate is to take place. The Lower House would first like a letter from the cabinet. The debate will be planned as soon as this letter has been received.