Oily Money OUT! Greta Thunberg joins climate protestors in oil summit blockade
October 17, 2023 by Extinction Rebellion
Thunberg: “We have no choice but to disrupt. This is only the beginning of the fight.”
Climate activist Greta Thunberg has joined protestors gathered in their hundreds this morning (17 October) to blockade the Energy Intelligence Forum, a three day gathering of the world’s major fossil fuel companies, bankers and politicians.
Speaking to the crowds gathered outside the Intercontinental Hotel, where the Forum is being held, Thunberg said: “Our world is being washed away by greenwashing and lies. The fossil fuel industry has actively distracted and delayed. They have created loopholes to allow their business to go on at the expense of the planet. We are choking from their fumes. The people in power are knowingly leading us to the edge of the precipice. We cannot let this continue.
“The elite of the oil and money conference have no intention of transition. Their plan is to continue this destructive surge of profits. That is why we have to take direct action. We have no choice but to disrupt. This is only the beginning of the fight.”
The protest, led by Fossil Free London and involving a host of campaign groups, including Extinction Rebellion and Money Rebellion, was also joined by environmental activist and TV presenter Chris Packham.
The action is part of a series of disruptions from the 17th-20th October aimed at the Energy Intelligence Forum to protest the climate records and political influence of the fossil fuel companies and banks attending, including Shell, Total, BP, Exxon, JP Morgan and The Bank of America.
Activists from the UK, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Poland, and Norway have travelled to take part in the protest.
Marijn van de Geer, XRUK media coordinator, said: “It’s brilliant to see Greta joining the action outside the Energy Intelligence Forum today. She’s done so much to raise awareness of the climate and ecological crisis, of the lies and corruption that go on behind closed doors, and has expressed so clearly the anger so many of us feel at the insanity of conferences like these where they are literally making decisions on how many more people are going to die due to continued use of fossil fuels.
“It’s extra special for us in XR UK, because it is nearly five years ago when Greta joined us for our Declaration of Rebellion outside the Houses of Parliament. I remember she was so soft spoken that we had to repeat her sentences to make sure people in the back could hear her. It was an incredibly powerful moment, this young fiery girl saying it exactly how it is. We are all thrilled she’s back in London and standing with us all once more. Go Greta!!!!”
Nuri Syed Corser, an organiser with Fossil Free London, said: “We’ve all seen the floods and wildfires. We all know the climate crisis is a threat to our safety and our future. We know we must stop burning oil and gas. But the super-rich oil bosses in this hotel are hijacking our politics to keep us hooked on their dirty fuel.
“They are spending millions lobbying our politicians to water down climate policies. They have even installed an oil baron as president of the COP28 global climate talks. That’s why so many people are here: to call out this corruption and get oily money out of our politics.”
The world’s major fossil fuel companies have been registering record-breaking profits as the energy and cost of living crisis gripped countries across the globe. In the UK, households have struggled with dramatic rises in food and energy costs, leaving around one in five people in the UK living in poverty.
In 2022, the Conservative party received £3.5m from individuals and entities linked to climate denial, fossil fuels and high-pollution industries, while Shell and BP both signed major deals with Infosys, an IT firm founded by Sunak’s father in law.
The Government and the North Sea Transition Authority are in the process of giving out more than 100 production licences for new oil and gas in the North Sea. Rosebank, the UK’s biggest undeveloped oil and gas field, was given the green light by the UK government last month.
The Government has stated it does not expect greater UK production to impact energy prices. Approval comes as September 2023 was recorded as the hottest September since records began; and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warns “the area of global boiling has arrived.”
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