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Greenpeace activists prepared to continue BP oil rig occupation ‘for days’

ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners are prepared to stay onboard an oil rig “for days” to protest against BP’s plans to drill for new wells, Greenpeace said today.

Protesters climbed the BP-contracted 27,000-tonne rig as it attempted to leave Cromarty Firth, near Inverness, yesterday and unveiled a banner declaring a climate emergency.

Activists want to stop the drilling rig reaching the Vorlich oil field where it is believed to be trying to extract up to 30 million barrels of oil.

A Greenpeace activist named Jo, who is on board the rig, said that despite “warm words” from BP on its commitment to tackling climate change the rig is “a sure sign” that the company is committed to business as usual.

The Scottish campaigner said that BP was “fuelling a climate emergency that threatens millions of lives and the future of the living world.

“The government may be bent on draining the North Sea of every last drop of oil, but this clearly contradicts their climate commitments. The perverse idea we must maximise our oil and gas reserves cannot continue.

“That means the government must seriously reform the Oil & Gas Authority and instead invest heavily in the crucial work of helping oil communities like those in Scotland move from fossil fuels to the industries that will power our low-carbon future.”

Scottish Greens environment and climate spokesman and MSP Mark Ruskell told the Star that granting permission to open new oil fields in the face of a climate emergency is “inexcusable.”

“Scotland and the UK need to plan now for a Green New Deal that could create thousands of skilled jobs in offshore renewables,” he said.

“New Zealand and Norway have begun to draw the line and limit the exploitation of their oil and gas reserves. It’s time the UK and Scottish governments also faced up to the action that is needed.”

A spokeswoman for BP responded to the protest by saying they recognised the right for peaceful protest and share the campaigners’ concerns but called the action “irresponsible” and said it may put protesters and others “unnecessarily at risk.”

Extinction Rebellion Lambeth will protest at BP’s sponsorship of the Royal Opera House Big Screen in London’s Trafalgar Square today at 5pm.

Musicians and visual artists will perform the “tragedy of ‘Petroleo and Fueliet’” during the screening of Romeo and Juliet.


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