Jan 7, 2020
Fiona from Inverness commented, “I feel responsible for what happens here in Scotland because it’s the one place in the world where I can really make a difference, where my voice can actually be heard. I don’t feel like I have much of a choice but to do something like this, that directly impacts this industry, because the government is not doing their job.”
On the morning of January 6th three activists boarded a rig in the Dundee Harbour. This rig, leased to Shell, is due to head out to the North Sea imminently to begin drilling for gas. They took this action with the aim of physically stopping the extraction of fossil fuels, which are the key drivers behind the climate and ecological emergency.
Despite high winds and the weight of enough kit for 10 days occupation, the three women managed to scale halfway up one of the legs of the rig.
They stayed up for five hours, long enough to alert the world of the need to take further action against fossil fuel criminals. After five hours, deteriorating weather conditions forced them to come down and they were then arrested.
Three other activists had also attempted to board another leg of the rig earlier in the day but were arrested. They will appear in court tomorrow.
These activists had a chance, a moment to take action, and they took it. But in the end, it was too dangerous to carry on.
Others don’t get to choose what danger they are in. The climate crisis, driven by fossil fuel emissions, is putting millions, potentially billions in grave danger.
This is just the beginning of Rig Rebellion 2.0, Extinction Rebellion Scotland’s series of actions focussing on the fossil fuel industry and its driving role in the climate crisis. Actions are planned across Scotland for the next fortnight.
Driven by the urgency of the climate and ecological emergency, these rig rebel activists were willing to put their safety and their bodies physically on the line to halt the extraction of fossil fuels.
After the rig rebels boarded the VALARIS this morning, Oil & Gas UK (who certainly have a lot to lose from a transition away from fossil fuels) called us “short-sighted”.
Unlike the fossil fuel industry, we knew when it was sensible to stop.
What is really dangerous and lacking in foresight is continuing to drill, extract, burn and explore for even more fossil fuels, putting us above dangerous levels of global heating. Australia burns, millions are displaced by flooding and whole ecosystems are collapsing.
This is just the beginning of climate breakdown at 1.1C warming – what will we be facing in 30 years time at potentially 2, 3 or even 4 degrees warming?
Oil & Gas UK, the Government body whose ‘statutory principle is to maximise the economic recovery of the UK’s oil and gas resources’ need to own up to its role in the climate crisis and face the fact that our future must be fossil free.”
Before the action, Jo from Edinburgh commented; “I’m doing this for my niece Ivy. I am going to give it my best shot and go down fighting, because I can see the world through her eyes and I want to protect things for her.”
Shell is not an asset to our economy. They avoided paying corporate income tax in the UK in 2018 despite generating pretax profits of 731 million dollars. They pay their CEO 143 times what the average worker receives. And they receive massive amounts of money in subsidies from the UK and Scottish Government.
Worldwide, the fossil fuel industry receives five trillion dollars of subsidies a year. That’s $10 million a minute according to the International Monetary Fund.
To get involved in our upcoming actions please FILL OUT THIS FORM:
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Need to get trained up? Check out our upcoming non-violent direct action trainings happening across Scotland here:
Ready for a little spice? Keep your eyes peeled for further announcements and join us in Edinburgh for another instalment of #RigRebellion 2.0