Local weather activist Greta Thunberg has cancelled an look on the Edinburgh Worldwide Ebook Competition after accusing one of many occasion’s sponsors of “greenwashing”.
The 20-year-old was as a result of communicate at an event on 13 August however pulled out in protest over sponsors Baillie Gifford, an funding administration agency she claims invests “closely” in fossil fuels.
The agency have rejected the accusation, saying solely 2% of its purchasers’ cash was put in corporations with some enterprise associated to fossil fuels.
The occasion organiser mentioned he “respects” the choice made by the activist, however mentioned he believes Baillie Gifford to be “a part of the answer to the local weather emergency”.
In a press release, the campaigner mentioned: “As a local weather activist I can’t attend an occasion which receives sponsorship from Baillie Gifford, who make investments closely within the fossil gas trade.
“Greenwashing efforts by the fossil gas trade, together with sponsorship of cultural occasions, enable them to maintain the social licence to proceed working.
“I can’t and don’t wish to be related to occasions that settle for this sort of sponsorship.”
Baillie Gifford mentioned the proportion of its purchasers’ cash that it invests into fossil fuels compares to the market common of 11%.
A spokesperson mentioned: “After we spend money on corporations on their behalf, we achieve this over very long time durations, sometimes 10 years or extra, so this has naturally led us away from conventional fossil gas corporations.”
However, additionally they insisted that 5% of their purchasers’ cash was invested “in corporations whose sole goal is to develop clear power options”.
Competition director Nick Barley mentioned he was “upset” however absolutely revered the activist’s determination.
“Nevertheless, in applauding Greta for standing by her rules, we too should stand by ours,” he mentioned.
“The Ebook Competition exists to present a platform for debate and dialogue round key points affecting humanity at the moment – together with the local weather emergency. As a charitable organisation, we’d not be ready to supply that platform with out the long-term assist of organisations akin to Baillie Gifford.
“We strongly imagine that Baillie Gifford are a part of the answer to the local weather emergency.”
The director apologised to those that had purchased tickets to the occasion on the Edinburgh Playhouse, and promised refunds.
The environmental campaigner was fined by a Swedish court final week after she admitted disobeying police orders following a protest in Malmo.