Demilitarise Cambridge “call on the CISL to publicly commit to cutting its ties with arms and fossil fuel companies”.Oscar Simms

The student-led campaign Demilitarise Cambridge issued a twitter thread yesterday (01/4) criticising the invitation of certain companies to an event held by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership’s (CISL) that was attended by Prince Charles.

The reception was held on Thursday (31/4) to celebrate the opening of CISL’s low-carbon headquarters, the new “ultra-green” Entopia building. The institute aims to develop “leadership and solutions for a sustainable economy”.

For Professor Stephen Toope, Vice-Chancellor of the University, the event was a “celebration of projects that have the power to change the way we live and the way our industries operate, hastening the transition to a low carbon world.”

According to Demilitarise Cambridge, BP, Boeing, and Rolls Royce were represented at the event.

Demilitarise Cambridge criticised the institute for inviting these companies, calling them “neocolonial” and the “most egregious world-wrecking corporations”.


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As well as criticising the institute for inviting companies whose greenhouse gas emissions are “astronomical” , the campaign also argued that there was an “incompatibility between ‘sustainability’ ambitions and hosting those profiting from war”.

The campaign called upon CISL to “publicly commit to cutting its ties with arms and fossil fuel companies”, urging the University to instead “direct its resources towards communities on the frontline of the climate crisis.”

This follows a controversial divestment event last term, after which Demilitarise Cambridge claimed that the “University has the power but not the will to demilitarise”. In the campaign’s view, “militarisation is baked into the climate crisis, imperial aggression is both motivated and fuelled by the extraction of fossil fuels and natural resources.”