The institute's windows and doors have since been removedRuying Yang for Varsity

Climate protesters sprayed green paint and smashed the windows of the Cambridge Institute for Energy and Environmental Flows (IEEF) last Friday (19/04) in a protest against greenwashing.

The group responsible, ‘This Is Not A Drill’, claimed that the IEEF researches “harmful tech” that aids the extraction of new fossil fuels. They also accused the University of “letting oil execs push their agenda” and failing to address their “dodgy industry ties”.

The smashed windows have been removed from the site following the protest, Varsity understands.

The IEEF was previously named the BP Institute after the oil company British Petroleum, but was renamed last September to better “reflect the university’s values”. The institution still receives funding from BP “for projects that address shared goals related to the energy transition”.

This Is Not A Drill described this as “greenwashing” and claimed that the University “just rename[s] and sweep[s] things under the rug” as opposed to taking genuine action on climate issues.

The protests come just a month after the University pledged to temporarily suspend all new partnerships with fossil fuel companies due to “high reputational risk”.

The group had previously targeted the University’s Maxwell Centre’s Laboratory for Scientific Computing, throwing red paint and leaving the message “we charge you with genocide” on their door. They claimed the institute was supporting companies that are “arming Israel’s genocide in Palestine”.

This issue was also raised in their statement on the IEEF protest, stating that greenwashing was “more pressing now as the Uni’s ties to the genocide of Palestinians is coming under scrutiny”.

The statement continued: “Will they adopt the same approach of denial and delay when it comes to their arms and war connections?”


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Pro-Palestine climate activists throw paint over uni research centre

The group also condemned the University’s “links to genocide through arms companies and BP”. This comes after Trinity College faced protests after they were found to hold shares in Israeli arms company Elbit Systems.

Professor Anne Ferguson-Smith, pro-vice-chancellor for Research and International Partnerships said: “We condemn this attack on University property. Such actions intimidate and harass our staff and students who are determined to contribute to the University’s mission of excellence in education and research.”

“Research at the Institute is focused on the energy transition, including developing understanding of carbon, hydrogen and heat storage, as well as ways to improve the production of renewable fuels,” the PVC added.