OCCUPIED! Protesters occupy City Of London insurers’ offices demanding they reject climate-wrecking projects in UK and Africa - Extinction Rebellion UK

OCCUPIED! Protesters occupy City Of London insurers’ offices demanding they reject climate-wrecking projects in UK and Africa

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Ten City of London insurance companies are targeted by activists calling on them to stop insuring West Cumbia coalmine and East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline NOW!

Hundreds of protesters are today (18th October) occupying the plush City of London offices of ten Lloyd’s of London insurers demanding they rule out insuring the proposed West Cumbria coal mine and the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).

The occupations started as a huge crowd gathered outside Standard Bank. The protests are in collaboration with Fossil Free London’s “Oily Money Out” mass action – at which Greta Thunberg was arrested yesterday – and in solidarity with Extinction Rebellion Gauteng in South Africa.  In Johannesburg activists were recently met with brutality by security personnel hired by Standard Bank as they peacefully called for dialogue to end the financing of new coal projects [1].

The protesters marched waving banners saying “Don’t Insure EACOP” and “Don’t Insure West Cumbria Mine” to three high profile buildings including the “Walkie Talkie”(pictured) where in a coordinated swoop, activists are causing disruption in the office foyers of Ascot, Talbot, Chaucer, Markel, Allied World, CNA Hardy, Tokio Marine Kiln, Sirius International and Lancashire Syndicates. The activists are staging a sit-in and refusing to leave.

Insurers from Lloyd’s of London have come under increasing pressure to rule out offering insurance to both the West Cumbria coal mine and EACOP [2], including protests at offices across the UK with hundreds of students entering the job market refusing to work for them.

Claude Fourcroy, a spokesperson for Money Rebellion said: “We are calling on all the banks and insurers behind the West Cumbria mine and East Africa Crude Oil Pipelines to cut their ties now. Both of these projects will fuel climate breakdown. Lloyd’s of London and the insurers in its market sit at the centre of a web of climate wreckers in the City of London, alongside Barclays and HSBC.”

Joining the protests are community members from Cumbria and Uganda, sharing the united call to insurers and banks to stop underwriting deadly fossil fuel projects.  The UK Climate Change Committee warned that the West Cumbria Mine would increase UK’s domestic emissions and make the government’s legally-binding domestic emissions budgets difficult to meet. [3]

The massive 1443 km East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline will wreak havoc on communities, jeopardise ecosystems and water supplies. and eliminate the possibility of Earth remaining habitable. There can be no new fossil fuels anywhere if global heating is to remain under 1.5C. [4]

Scientists say we are dangerously close to crossing the globally agreed threshold of 1.5C this year. [5] Neither project will be able to go ahead without financial and insurance backing.

Andrew Taylor, Coal Action Network commented: “West Cumbria Mining Ltd wants to dig coal here right up until 2049 – when we’re supposed to have reached net zero by 2050! They’re not looking at the impact of how burning it would damage the climate and nature.  The UK government talks about us having energy security but the truth is, if the mine goes ahead, 85% of the coal would be exported.” [3]

Patience, a youth activist from Fridays for Future Uganda said: “We have gathered here today to demand that insurers cut ties with EACOP. By supporting this deadly fossil fuel project they undermine any climate commitments they have made. People in Uganda are facing human rights violations in the name of this project. This has to end.” [6]

In a further surprise move, Fossil Free London is simultaneously disrupting the Canary Wharf offices of Total Energies, a majority shareholder in EACOP.

The protests come on the second day of the Fossil Free London “Oily Money Out” protests targeting the Energy Intelligence Forum at the InterContinental Park Lane Hotel in London, where fossil fuel corporations, including Shell, Total and Equinor, are talking to government ministers. The Forum is taking place in the run up to the COP28 Climate Conference, which has already been captured by the fossil fuel industry, with the appointment of Al Jaber, chief executive of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) as the COP28 President.

Joanna Warrington, campaigner with Fossil Free London said: “We can’t allow London to welcome the climate-wrecking elite when droughts, floods, and wildfires rage across the world. London’s banks and finance sector have been ignoring all the warning signs while pouring billions into fossil fuel expansion. Their profit is our loss. Financing new fossil fuel developments is incompatible with a safe future.”

Notes to Editors

[1] Standard Bank brutalises climate activists: a call to boycott Standard Bank for the sake of our planet https://extinctionrebellion.org.za/25060/standard-bank-brutalises-climate-activists-a-call-to-boycott-standard-bank-for-the-sake-of-our-planet/

[2] Insure our future, Not the EACOP: Who’s backing the pipeline and who’s ruled it out? https://www.stopeacop.net/insurers-checklist

[3] Climate Change Committee letter: Deep Coal Mining in the UK https://www.theccc.org.uk/publication/letter-deep-coal-mining-in-the-uk/

[4] New fossil fuels ‘incompatible’ with 1.5C goal, comprehensive analysis finds https://www.carbonbrief.org/new-fossil-fuels-incompatible-with-1-5c-goal-comprehensive-analysis-finds

[5] Berkeley Earth: September 2023 Temperature Update


[6] Human rights violations from EACOP https://www.stopeacop.net/for-people

Oily Money Out
Fossil Free London supported by Extinction Rebellion and Greenpeace have mobilised hundreds of activists to shut down this year’s Oil & Money conference. Greta Thunberg was amongst the activists arrested yesterday. Taking place at London’s InterContinental Hotel, the Oil & Money summit brings together the CEOs of the world’s largest fossil fuel companies with politicians such as UK Minister for Energy Security and & Net Zero, Graham Stuart. Nicknamed ‘The Oscars of Oil, the summit rebranded itself last year, in a purely cosmetic move, as the ‘Energy Intelligence Forum’.  

Oil companies are pushing us to societal collapse. They have corrupted our politics to protect themselves and their profits. We need them and their oily money out. Out of our politics. Out of COP28. Out of power. Oily Money Out

East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP)
EACOP would carry 216,000 barrels of crude oil per day, or 10.9 million metric tons per year, at ‘plateau production’. The European Parliament has adopted a groundbreaking resolution that officially recognises the disastrous consequences for both human rights and the climate due to the construction of the EACOP.

#StopEACOP is a global alliance campaigning for an end to the proposed pipeline and associated oil fields at Tilenga and Kingfisher. The project would transport oil along a 1,443-kilometre heated pipeline from Hoima, Uganda, to the port of Tanga in Tanzania. The campaign is gathering momentum, building pressure on the remaining supporters and financiers of the project. AEGIS London, Arch Capital Group Ltd and Britam Holdings recently announced they would not offer the project insurance coverage.
European Parliament passes emergency resolution against human rights violations & environmental threats linked to EACOP 


EACOP Project  

West Cumbria Coal Mine

West Cumbria Mining Ltd wants to extract 2.78 million tonnes of coking coal annually until 2049, in what would be the UK’s first new underground coal mine in 30 years. The coal mine faces two legal challenges, as well as fierce public opposition with 115,000 people joining the campaign. 

Key facts: Whitehaven coal mine 

Stop the Cumbria Coal Mine! | 38 Degrees 

Hearing delayed – challenges against Whitehaven coal mine approval 

Standard Bank
Today’s protest started at the South African owned Standard Bank, who have come under pressure to rule out investment in the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline. They are the last remaining bank of the five largest banks in Africa to rule out insuring the project

Standard Bank isolated as other South African banks steer clear of Total’s EACOP oil pipeline — #StopEACOP

Climate activists, journalist forcibly ejected from Standard Bank HQ anti-fossil fuel protest 

Pressure mounts on insurers

Insurers from Lloyd’s of London have come under increasing pressure to rule out insuring both the West Cumbria coal mine and EACOP, facing protests at offices across the UK, creative protest and hundreds of students refusing to work for insurers who continue to insure fossil fuels. 6 insurers have so far ruled out underwriting the West Cumbria mine (AEGIS Managing Agency, Argenta Syndicate Management, Hannover Re,Talanx and Atrium Underwriters Ltd) While 23 insurers and 27 banks have ruled out involvement with the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline.

Money Rebellion
Money Rebellion is a sister organisation of Extinction Rebellion comprised of activists, economists, bankers and others, who, through direct action, campaigning, and sharing expertise, seek to expose the root causes of our climate emergency: the financial systems dependent on endless growth, and the greedy and powerful who continue to profit from the status quo.

Coal Action Network
Coal Action Network works for an end to coal use in power generation and steel production; coal extraction and coal imports in the UK; and for justice for communities affected by the UK’s current and historical involvement with coal. They do so by working in solidarity with communities on the frontlines of coal extraction in the UK and in countries where coal is mined for consumption here, or where it is supported by the UK’s financial institutions. 

Related topics

coal mines EACOP Extinction Rebellion insurance London

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