After previous actions in Rotterdam and Eindhoven, climate activists have now also occupied a university location in Amsterdam, reports newspaper Het Parool. The occupation happened in an abandoned building, university magazine Folia tweeted.
In December, the activists of UvA Rebellion had presented the university’s administration with a petition calling for a severing of ties with Shell. That petition has since been signed 1,400 times.
Shell and the UvA are jointly involved in four sustainability research projects. The activists call them greenwashing: oil companies would only use such research for their marketing.
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The UvA downplayed its ‘ties’ with Shell in December. In the collaboration in these four projects, which also involve a variety of other parties, scientific independence would’ve been guaranteed. “We could not find any examples of sponsorship of the UvA by Shell”, a UvA letter to the petition signatories reads, “such as funding of scientific meetings, trips or scholarships for scientists.”
The petition also states that the university would invite Shell to career fairs, where students can meet employees. The university denies this. “It cannot be ruled out that Shell is a guest at career days organised by a study association“, the Executive Board wrote in italics. “There are many study associations at the UvA, these are independent organisations with their own boards and they make their own consideration in this.”