Youth climate activists have "occupied" London's Science Museum in protest at its sponsorship deals with fossil fuel companies.

Members of the London branch of the UK Student Climate Network (UKSCN London) said they were holding a candlelight vigil at the famous landmark on Tuesday evening for "the victims of the Museum's fossil fuel sponsors: Shell, BP, Equinor and Adani".

The group said they planned to stay overnight.

The Metropolitan Police said officers were in attendance and that no arrests have been made.

The demonstration comes after the Science Museum last week announced a new gallery, called Energy Revolution: The Adani Green Energy Gallery, which is supported by a subsidiary of the Adani Group.

The student group has argued it is inappropriate for a green futures exhibition to be sponsored by a fossil fuel company (

Image:

PA)

Adani is a multinational conglomerate involved in coal extraction and coal-fired power stations.

The museum has also faced criticism for partnering with fossil fuel giant Shell to fund its Our Future Planet exhibition about carbon capture and storage and nature-based solutions to the climate crisis.

UKSCN protesters attempted to spend the night in the museum's Kensington building in June in protest at the Shell sponsorship, but abandoned the move when they were threatened with arrest by police officers.

The group also previously staged demonstrations outside the Science Museum.

Ines, 17, a member of UKSCN London, said: "We are less than a week away from the start of Cop26.

"Now is the time to abolish fossil fuel companies, not collaborate with them or invite them into our cultural spaces.

Extinction Rebellion has also directed its ire at the museum (

Image:

Vuk Valcic/SOPA Images/REX/Shutterstock)

"The Science Museum's senior management and board have shut down any attempt at a conversation with young activists and scientists.

"Meanwhile, they are welcoming some of the worst perpetrators of the climate crisis with open arms."

In a tweet, UKSCN said the museum was "denying us access to basic safety and hygiene by locking the toilets and refusing to give us safe, sanitary and dignified toilet facilities."

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Eve, another of the protesters, said: "Growing up I used to really enjoy going to the Science Museum, because I thought it was a place that was going to teach me about how to fix the climate crisis, to better the world.

"While museums like this can still have that space, I don't think they can have that while be sponsored by one of the world's biggest oil producers."

She added: "I believe that Shell are one of the most evil companies in the world to be sponsoring with.

"They are neglecting our futures and selling millions of barrels- of oil a day."

Activists wheeled a 'greenwashing' machine to the outside of the museum on Sunday (

Image:

Vuk Valcic/SOPA Images/REX/Shutterstock)

In a press release announcing the new Energy Revolution gallery, due to open in 2023, the museum said it will examine "how the world can undergo the fastest energy transition in history to curb climate change".

Dame Mary Archer, chair of the Science Museum Group, said: "We're hugely grateful to Adani Green Energy for the significant financial support they are providing for this gallery."

A spokesman for the Met Police said: "At approximately 17:40hrs on Tuesday, 26 October, police were made aware of a protest inside and outside a museum on Exhibition Road, SW7.

"Officers remain in attendance and are engaging with the protesters.

"There have been no arrests."

The Science Museum has been approached for comment.

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