“Stop the New Scramble for Africa!” - Extinction Rebellion UK

“Stop the New Scramble for Africa!”

>> Photos of the protest at the Africa Energies Summit

Extinction Rebellion and allies protest at global energy conference as fossil fuel crooks gather in London to plan the plunder of Africa’s oil and gas resources

Fossil fuel bosses and government officials from the UK and countries across Africa were confronted by scores of protestors from Extinction Rebellion and their allies today (Wednesday) as they arrived at an energy summit in London to discuss how to sell off the continent’s huge gas and oil reserves.

The Africa Energies Summit, sponsored by fossil fuel criminals Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron, and others, and staged at County Hall on London’s South Bank is a three-day gathering of multinationals from Europe and North America.

A coalition of environmental and human rights organisations including Extinction Rebellion, War on Want, Christian Climate Action, Women of Colour, Mothers Rebellion UK, Orca, Fossil Free London, and Stop EACOP were waiting for summit delegates as they arrived.

The protestors gathered at the entrance holding ‘Stop the Scramble for Africa’ banners that compared the frenzied competition for oil and gas reserves in countries such as Namibia and Equatorial Guinea to the colonial plunder of the continent in the 1880s.

Cathy Allen, of Extinction Rebellion, said:

 “We have been lucky to be able to work with  movements across Africa who are in resistance against big oil and gas. The representatives who spoke today and the uplifting performance by amazing drummers from Senegal highlight our united solidarity against the new scramble for Africa. 

“We cannot  be silent in the face of the staggering injustice of climate change on the African continent with all its devastating consequences. The Africa Energies Summit turbo charges injustice in Africa.”

The powerful protest came a day after another contingent of campaigners staged a creative challenge for summit delegates arriving for a plush launch day breakfast meeting at City Hall.

Activists brandished their own breakfast menu featuring fresh juices that squeeze the wealth out of Africa and a Full English (Empire) to remind delegates of the colonial roots of the current corporate race to plunder the continent’s natural resources. Extinction Rebellion’s Rebel Slickers were also on hand to highlight the oily deals being done at the summit. 

Today (Wednesday) one of the protestors, Seble Samuel, Head of Africa Campaigns & Advocacy, Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative, said: 

“That the Africa Energies Summit is taking place in London is emblematic of the neocolonial scramble for our continent’s fossil fuels. Corporations like BP, Total, Shell and Eni extract energy and wealth out of Africa while 600 million of our people are locked into energy poverty. The time for this fossil fuel pillaging is over.”

Landry Ninteretse, of 350 Africa, said:

“Big oil makes multibillion-dollar profits while marginalising and impoverishing millions of Africans, who suffer disasters, loss of livelihoods and human rights violations.”

Hardi Yakubu from Africans Rising, said: 

“”The pollution and devastation that extraction has caused us are immeasurable. So we fight not because we are belligerent but because our lives depend on fighting.”

MOSOP President Lazarus Tamana said: “Shell must clean-up the Niger Delta and Ogoni environment to international standard. This remedial action was recommended by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) in 2011 and ordered by the UK High Court in 2014.”

The Africa Energies Summit’s stated aims include to “create jobs and opportunities for all Africans” and “promote energy access on the Continent [sic]”. The realities are very different, even in African countries that have been major exporters of oil for decades:

By tapping into its abundant solar and wind potential, Africa could become the world’s first truly zero-emissions and fossil fuel-free continent. But the Africa Energies Summit devotes just a single hour of its three-day schedule to alternative energy sources. 

Related topics

africa climate justice fossil fuels

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