Members of Extinction Rebellion protesting last termJeremy Peters with permission for Varsity

The University of Cambridge is planning to remove an oil companies name from one of its buildings following recent student protests.

According to The Times, the BP institute will be renamed, making Cambridge the first university in the UK to remove an oil company's name from its buildings.

Vice-Chancellor Stephen Toope has told academics that a rebranding of the institute would better reflect the university's values. An official statement is yet to be made.

The move comes after a series of direct action against the university and institute. Just last week, the new climate group ‘This is Not a Drill” targeted the research facility by smashing windows, vandalising the site with black paint, and spray-painting messages including “Cam Uni: Drop BP”.

In previous months the site has been targeted by activists who occupied the site in protest of its funding from global oil corporations.

Fossil Free Research, a campaign group working to end the influence of the fossil fuel industry on academia said in a press release shared on Twitter: “We are thrilled to see the University of Cambridge renaming its BP Institute following years of powerful and sustained activism from students, academics and the local community.”


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At the same time that we must celebrate this major victory, we must also recognise that the University of Cambridge and its peer institutions must go further than merely renaming buildings to aiding and abetting Big Oil.”

An official university spokesperson said on the reports: “The University of Cambridge is a democratic institution and there are always discussions about a very broad range of issues including the names of its many buildings and institutes. No formal decision has been made to rename the BP Institute.

“The University decided in 2020 to accept donations from energy companies only if they aligned with our aims of working towards a zero carbon future. The research conducted at the BP Institute focuses on developing a range of energy sources to help in the transition, including battery technology, geothermal power, and carbon storage.”