Just Stop Oil: Students Taking Action Against New Oil and Gas Projects

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The urgent need to address the climate crisis has prompted a group of passionate students to take a stand against the UK Government’s plans to license new oil and gas projects. Led by the organization Just Stop Oil, these students are demanding that university leaders join their cause and make a public statement calling for an end to such projects. In this article, we will explore the motivations behind these actions, the impact of fossil fuel funding in universities, and the escalating climate crisis.

Arrests after Radcliffe Camera protest by Just Stop Oil

Taking a Stand: Student Activism in Action

In a display of resistance and determination, three students affiliated with Just Stop Oil recently painted buildings at Oxford University and the University of Exeter. Daniel Knorr, a biochemistry student, and Noah Crane, a recent A-Level graduate, used a fire extinguisher to paint the historic Radcliffe Camera building at Oxford. At the same time, George Simonson, a mechanical engineering graduate from the University of Edinburgh, painted the glass facade of ‘The Forum’ on the Exeter University campus using buckets of paint and spray cans [^1^].

The Urgency of the Climate Crisis

These students are not taking these actions lightly. They firmly believe that the destruction caused by climate change poses a grave threat to their generation and future generations. With the knowledge that climate breakdown will lead to unsurvivable heat and humidity, they see the inaction of governments and educational institutions as tantamount to mass murder and genocide [^2^][^3^]. The students argue that merely studying the devastation without taking action is insufficient. They are determined to make a difference and demand immediate action from those in power.


Uniting Students and Faculty

The actions of these students are not isolated incidents. Just Stop Oil is calling on students and faculty staff from universities across the country to join them in a march in London this November. They believe that universities, as educational institutions, have a responsibility to take a stand against the climate crisis and stop accepting funding from fossil fuel companies. By marching together, they aim to send a powerful message and demand that the government puts an end to new oil and gas projects [^1^].

The Influence of Fossil Fuel Funding

Recent reports have shed light on the significant financial commitments made by major fossil fuel companies to UK universities. The University of Exeter, for instance, received a substantial sum of £14.7 million from Shell for a project on “carbon storage and sequestration” [^4^]. In addition, Oxford University has received over £1.2 million in fossil fuel financial commitments since 2022 [^4^]. These findings raise questions about the ethical implications of accepting money from industries that contribute to climate change.

Record-Breaking Heat and Its Consequences

The urgency of addressing the climate crisis is further underscored by recent events. September 2023 witnessed temperatures peaking at 1.8 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, surpassing the 1.5-degree threshold set by the Paris Agreement. Climate scientists have expressed shock at this unprecedented rise in temperatures. Zeke Hausfather from the Berkeley Earth climate data project referred to it as “absolutely gobsmackingly bananas” [^5^]. These extreme weather patterns and their consequences signal a dire need for immediate action.

The Power of Collective Action

The students involved in Just Stop Oil firmly believe in the power of collective action. They see their actions as a way to challenge the status quo and inspire others to join them in their fight against the destruction caused by the fossil fuel industry. Taking action provides them with hope and demonstrates that even a small group of committed individuals can create significant change. By raising their voices and marching in unity, they hope to inspire a broader movement that demands urgent action to combat climate change [^1^][^3^].

Join the Movement: Marching in London

Just Stop Oil invites individuals from all over the UK to march with them in London starting from 29th October. They emphasize the need for solidarity and unity in the face of the climate crisis. By coming together, students, faculty staff, and concerned citizens can demonstrate their commitment to stopping new oil and gas projects. The organization encourages everyone to sign up at their website juststopoil.org/students and be part of the movement for change [^3^].


The actions of the students affiliated with Just Stop Oil highlight the urgency of addressing the climate crisis. Their resistance against new oil and gas projects sends a powerful message to governments and educational institutions alike. By demanding an end to fossil fuel funding in universities and mobilizing people to march in London, they aim to create a united front against the destruction caused by the fossil fuel industry. It is through collective action and unwavering determination that real change can be achieved. It is time for individuals and institutions to take a stand and work together to preserve our planet for future generations.

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