1 Jun 2015

Dash for gas: climate change activists target oil giants

Seven climate change protesters are arrested following a day of wide-spread demonstrations against government fossil fuel policy.

Protests took place at a coal conference in London, outside oil and fracking companies and at the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC).

Hannah Martin from Reclaim the Power said: “We now have a new Tory government who are totally in bed with the fossil fuel industry – subsidising their friends and relatives in the fracking industry and committing to another round of gas-fired power stations.

“They also plan to build infrastructure that will lock us into burning carbon for years to come while killing off renewable technology.”


Seven demonstrators forced their way into the offices of the PR company Media Zoo who represent chemical group Ineos. Ineos owns Grangemouth oil and gas refinery and has acquired 729 square miles of fracking exploration licences.

A Media Zoo spokesperson told Channel 4 News that one member of staff had been assaulted and police had been called.

A Met Police spokesperson added: “Officers attended and made seven arrests for trespass in an enclosed premises and common assault. They remain in custody at a west London police station at this stage.”

World Coal Association

Protesters also disrupted a carbon capture and storage conference organised by the World Coal Association (WCA) at the Institute of Directors (IOD) in London. Activists blocked both front and back entrances to the conference to protesting at the coal industry’s promotion of the technology, backed by DECC.

Benjamin Sporton, the World Coal Association’s Acting CEO told Channel 4 News: “The WCA event held today included a wide range of stakeholders in the global conversation around climate change, including the World Wildlife Fund, Green Alliance, Climate Group, technology providers, power generators and WCA members.

“The World Coal Association supports constructive dialogue on climate change, and today called on governments worldwide to recognise the role cleaner coal technologies play in reducing global CO2 emissions and increase investment in all low emission technologies.”

DECC offices

Another dozen protesters blockaded the steps outside the DECC offices in a move aimed at the new Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Amber Rudd – a keen supporter of fracking.

A DECC spokesperson told Channel 4 News: “Everybody has the democratic right to protest. Obviously we would hope that all protests are peaceful.”

Didcot Power Station

Protests were also held outside Imperial College London, City Hall, NPower offices in Leeds, British Gas HQ in Oxford and at energy company Cuadrilla’s headquarters in Lichfield. In Witney, Oxfordshire, campaigners unfurled a banner reading ‘David Cameron in bed with the big six’ outside his constituency office.

Demonstrators had also set up camp outside Didcot Power Station in Oxfordshire during the weekend. The power station is owned by RWE Npower, one of the big six energy companies who control the UK’s energy supply.