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JUST STOP OIL activists banged pots and pans outside PM Rishi Sunak’s west London home as they demanded police “arrest the real criminals” on the eve of the Cop28 climate summit.
About 18 environmental activists were joined by musician Louise Harris, who played her chart-topping protest song We Tried outside the PM’s Kensington property on Wednesday night.
Police said 16 protesters were arrested following the demonstration as it emerged Mr Sunak, Foreign Secretary David Cameron and King Charles took separate private jets to the conference in Dubai.
One of the activists, community worker Pia Bastide, 29, said: “People with flooded homes can’t sleep. Children dying from starvation can’t sleep. Communities staring down wildfires can’t sleep. So why should climate criminals like Rishi Sunak get a peaceful night’s sleep?”
Just Stop Oil added in a statement: “There should be no rest for the wicked.
“Rishi Sunak has already abandoned the promises he made to his own children on climate — he should have listened to them.
“New oil and gas is a sealed death warrant for the young and those who have done the least to contribute to this crisis.
“It’s disgraceful that an unelected Prime Minister should throw our futures away to squeeze out more profit for his fossil fuel lobbyist cronies.
“Any politician who has the slightest desire to represent the interests of the British people would immediately ban all new licences for oil and gas in the UK.”
Labour has announced plans to ban new oil and gas licences, though the policy has attracted criticism from energy-sector unions including Unite and GMB, which argue there is no plan in place for a just transition for workers in the sector.
The protest came as the UN climate chief opened the summit warning that humanity will bring about its own “terminal decline” if governments fail to trigger the end of the fossil fuel era.
Simon Stiell issued a warning yesterday as the oil-rich host nation United Arab Emirates launched a long-awaited global disaster fund to rescue vulnerable people from climate change impacts like the collapse of farming or fishing industries.
Global Justice Now climate campaign manager Izzie McIntosh welcomed the fund as a “long overdue step forward for our climate.”
“The UK must now stand up to the oil and gas companies raking in billions in profits year after year at the world’s collective expense, and fund a significant contribution to the loss and damage through permanent polluter taxes,” she added.
Sir Keir Starmer is meanwhile expected to pledge to turn Britain the “green finance capital of the world” today after the Labour leader, shadow energy secretary Ed Miliband and shadow foreign secretary David Lammy travelled to the conference.
Ahead of an investor roundtable meeting hosted by an international banking giant, he hailed Britain’s financial services as “a national asset, with world leading expertise,” adding: “For too long we’ve had a UK government sending the wrong signals when it comes to net zero.
"While the Conservatives use it to appease their party and sow political division, my Labour government will harness it in the national interest, to turbo-charge growth.
“Our mission to make Britain a clean energy superpower by 2030 will provide the long term, stable conditions needed to open the doors to investment in our country.”
Steve Coulter, head of economy at the Green Alliance think tank, said: “The UK’s climate watchdog thinks investment in the green transition will add 2 per cent to GDP by 2030.
“But in the recent Autumn Statement, the Chancellor promised pocket change to the job-creating green industries of the future — and the government plans to reduce productivity-boosting capital spending in the coming years.
“The political risk for the Conservatives is that parties like Labour will seize the opportunities of green growth as we head into an election next year: and take credit for the profits created in green finance, the jobs created in green industries, and the savings families will see from the transition.”
The Just Stop Oil protest came after Greenpeace activists who scaled Mr Sunak’s North Yorkshire home in August in protest against the government’s decision to expand North Sea oil drilling were released on bail.
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