Demonstrators Across The UK Join Global March To Demand An End To Fossil Fuels
September 14, 2023 by Extinction Rebellion
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Thousands of people will join marches across the UK this weekend as part of the global days of action demanding that leaders rapidly phase out fossil fuels.
The demonstrators will call out the government for seeking to ‘max out’ North Sea oil and gas reserves despite warnings that there can be no new drilling if the world is to stay within habitable climate limits. The UK government is giving out hundreds of new North Sea licences and has voiced its support for the proposed development of the huge Rosebank oil field off the Scottish coast.
Over 40 UK demonstrations are happening this weekend, including in London, Edinburgh, Manchester and Plymouth. They follow a warning last week by the United Nations that the world will fail to stop the climate crisis unless fossil fuels are rapidly phased out.
The UK is the second largest oil and gas producer in Europe and is part of a tiny club of global North countries that are ramping up production while claiming to be leading on climate action. Just 5 countries – the United States, Canada, Australia, Norway, and the UK – are responsible for a majority (51%) of the CO2 pollution threatened by new oil and gas projects from now to 2050.
This weekend will see over 400 anti-fossil fuel demonstrations take place around the world, from Cape Town to Tokyo, Karachi to New York, which will also play host to the UN Climate Ambition Summit on 20th September. The UN Secretary-General António Guterres is expected to call for countries to stop approving new oil and gas production at the New York summit. Rishi Sunak, who is set to miss the UN General Assembly happening the same week, is unlikely to attend.
Stop Rosebank campaigner, Lauren MacDonald said:
“We are now watching the climate crisis unfold, whether its rising temperatures and wildfires or the heating up of our seas, and yet our government is choosing to throw more fuel on the fire. We know – and they know – there can be no new drilling if we want a habitable world and yet they are issuing new licences and considering approving the massive Rosebank oil field, which would create more CO2 emissions than 28 of the poorest countries produce in a year combined.(1)
“Rishi Sunak needs to stop bowing to the demands of the oil and gas companies that are raking in obscene profits while millions in this country cant afford to heat their homes. Unlike cheaper renewable energy, new oil and gas fields will not lower bills, it just keeps the industry’s obscene profits flowing. Climate leadership today means standing up to this profiteering and stopping all new drilling. Anything less is simply not good enough. Fossil fuels are the biggest contributor to the climate crisis yet they’re the one thing governments have so far resisted acting on.”
Tyrone Scott, Senior Movement Building & Activism Officer, War on Want & the Climate Justice Coalition said:
“The world is at a tipping point. Climate catastrophe is already devastating the lives and livelihoods of people across the world and primarily those in the Global South, who are least responsible for causing it. We must uproot the systems of exploitation and oppression which keep the majority of the world’s population in poverty while lining the pockets of corporations and rich shareholders. This is a watershed moment. How we respond will determine how the world is shaped for generations. We’re taking to the streets across the UK with one simple message: We demand an end to new fossil fuels licences. We demand a fast and fair transition. We demand climate justice.”
Notes to editors
UK demonstrations taking place include:
On Friday 15th:
- Manchester: action calling for insurer Chubb to not insure the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline, Abbey House, M2 4AB, from 8-11am
- Leeds: Action outside the office of Rachel Reeves MP, to get the Labour Party to commit to our vision for the future. Similar actions outside other MP offices across UK.
On Saturday 16th:
- London: march to Parliament from 12pm, followed by speeches. Lauren MacDonald (+447506308651) and Tyrone Scott (+447927613381) will be available for interview from 1pm.
- Edinburgh: march to The Mound 11am- 1pm
- Leeds: rally at Briggate from 12pm
- Plymouth: rally at Guildhall Square 12-2pm
- Wimborne, Dorset: XR action against fossil fuels on the High Street, from 10.30-12.30pm
On Sunday 17th
- Bournemouth: march from Pier Approach to Boscombe Pier at 11am, followed by a rally.
- Brighton and Hove, Mothers Rebellion action in Jubilee Square, from 12:30pm to 2pm
- London: Mothers’ Rebellion protest outside the Science Museum from 11:30am