Extinction Rebellion activists blockade Shell HQ in protest over climate crisis

Group says oil giant's business 'is literally destroying our future’

Lucinda Cameron
Thursday 16 January 2020 15:10
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Activists outside Shell HQ in Scotland say the company's success means a bleak future for the environment
Activists outside Shell HQ in Scotland say the company's success means a bleak future for the environment

Climate change activists have blocked the entrance to the headquarters of oil giant Shell in Aberdeen.

Extinction Rebellion Scotland members began their protest at the premises on Altens Farm Road at 6.30am on Thursday and said they plan to stay there all day.

The group said it had secured the entrances with lock-on equipment and the main entrance with XR Scotland’s big purple boat, named Amal Gous.

They said they plan to shut the building down to disrupt business and hold Shell to account for its role in the climate crisis.

Police said they were called to the scene at around 6.45am on Thursday.

One of the protesters, who gave his name as Paul, 43, from Aberdeenshire, said: “If the whole world reaches zero carbon emissions by 2030, we only have a 75% chance of staying below (an increase of) 2C.

“These are terrible odds; and by committing to continued production decades into the future, Shell is literally destroying our future.

“The more successful fossil fuel companies like Shell are, the worse our future is going to be. We have to stop them carrying on as if their product does no harm. ”

The purple boat bears the words “The Future You Fear Is Already Here”, a reminder that “catastrophic” climate change is already underway across the planet.

Extinction Rebellion (XR) members gather around the Amal Gous boat

The action is part of Rig Rebellion 2.0, a two-week campaign by Extinction Rebellion Scotland targeting the fossil fuel industry and the institutions that support it.

A Shell spokesman said: “The heightened awareness of climate change that we have seen over recent months is a good thing. As a company, we agree that urgent action is needed.

“What will really accelerate change is effective policy, investment in technology innovation and deployment, and changing customer behaviour.

“As we move to a lower-carbon future, we are committed to playing our part, by addressing our own emissions and helping customers to reduce theirs — because we all have a role to play.”

Police said officers were at the scene of a “peaceful protest” outside the Shell premises.

Chief Inspector Davie Howieson, Local Area Commander for Aberdeen South, said: “The road was blocked from around 6.45am on Thursday, January 16, and road users are advised to avoid the area for the time being.

“We are liaising with both Shell and the protest organisers, Extinction Rebellion.”

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