NY Times drops sponsorship of Oil and Money conference after pressure from climate activists

NY Times drops sponsorship of Oil and Money conference after pressure from climate activists
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The New York Times has withdrawn its sponsorship of a prominent oil industry conference in London following pressure and protests from climate scientists. 

The Oil and Money conference, now in its 40th year and scheduled to take place Oct. 8–10, attracts senior executives from the energy sector. But after climate activist groups, including Extinction Rebellion, staged large protests outside of the Times's headquarters in New York, the publication decided to end its relationship with the conference. 
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"Over the last several years The Times has significantly expanded its reporting on climate change and its impact, as well as broader investigative and explanatory coverage of energy and environmental policy,” the Times said in a statement. "We have large team focused solely on the topic and in the last year alone we've traveled to every continent to document the effects of a warming planet." 

“We want there to be no question of our independence or even the potential appearance of a conflict of interest," it adds. "We wish Energy Intelligence well as they continue to gather energy leaders, policy makers and environmentalists to discuss how to sustainably meet the world's rising energy needs." 

Keynote speakers for this year's conference include BP chief executive Bob Dudley and Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden. 

The decision comes after 70 people affiliated with Extinction Rebellion were arrested outside the Times headquarters in Manhattan in June during a demonstration demanding the publication refer to climate change as an emergency. 

Demonstrators had attached a sign reading “climate change = mass murder" to the Times's building, prompting the arrests. The word "change" was crossed out and replaced with "emergency."