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HUNDREDS of climate activists, trade unionists and community campaigners set up a “climate camp” in Scotland today, protesting against plans to industrialise parkland as part of expanded North Sea oil and gas exploitation.
The Westminster government has given the go-ahead to the controversial Jackdaw oilfield exploitation off the coast of Scotland, flying in the face of Tory pledges on tackling the climate crisis.
The camp is in St Fittick’s Park in Aberdeen — the so-called “oil capital of Europe.”
Local campaigners say the land is the last green space in the working-class neighbourhood of Torry.
The camp follows oil giant Shell’s announcement of record profits of almost £10 billion in just the last three months.
Shareholders will receive a £6.5bn handout as prices at the pump remain at eye-watering levels and energy bills hit new record highs.
The camp will end in five days with a rally and action targeting major polluters.
Jessica Gaitan Johannesson, of Climate Camp Scotland, said that the priorities of the government and oil companies “are not to save lives and livelihoods, but to hold onto power and wealth at all costs.”
He said: “What we all need is a redistribution of power and resources: a just transition led by the communities with the most to lose.”
Scott Herret, of Friends of St Fittick’s Park, said: “I welcome Scotland’s climate camp, who share in the idea of putting people and planet first, unlike those who are proposing to destroy St Fittick’s Park for the sake of private profit.”
Guy Ingerson, co-convener of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire Greens and an ex-oil and gas worker, said that volatile oil prices have cost more than 100,000 jobs in 2015.
He said: “Now that volatility is seeing our energy bills rise to eye-watering levels, causing a cost-of-living crisis.
“All while oil and gas executives enrich themselves will billions in profits. This cannot continue.
“Aberdeen is on the front line of the climate crisis. The emissions produced here have an impact across our planet.
“That means we have a special responsibility, not just to ourselves but to others, to transition away from fossil fuels.”
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