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Night in cells for university fossil fuel protester

Roger Hallam: 'As students and researchers we have a duty to raise the alarm'

03 March, 2017 — By Tom Foot

Roger Hallam was arrested at King’s College

A PROTESTER was arrested and spent the night in police cells after a chalk paint protest at King’s College London.

Researcher Roger Hallam, who has been suspended from his PhD, is on hunger strike over the university’s invest­ments in fossil fuels.

His supporters are proposing a massive “act of civil disobedience” tomorrow (Saturday) with a promise of “breaking whatever rules need to be broken”.

Mr Hallam said: “Our society is living in denial while the threat of climate change grows exponentially each year. It is like being told you have cancer and ignoring the doctor’s advice – it doesn’t go away it just gets worse and worse. As students and researchers we have a duty to raise the alarm and demand that investments in oil companies can no longer take place at a university promoting rationality and science.”

Mr Hallam has been suspended from the university. The university has reduced its emissions by 43 per cent and now invests 15 per cent of its funds in companies that have an explicit social and environmental benefit, including zero carbon alternatives to fossil fuels.

A spokeswoman for the university said they had been engaging with members of a different group, the Fossil Free KCL, since 2014 and as a result they will be “reducing investments in companies involved in the ‘dirtiest’ fuels like tar sands oil and thermal coal and move towards opportunities to support low carbon alternatives”.

This would mean they could continue to invest in companies extracting fossil fuels in more traditional methods, like oil drilling, however.

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