Climate change: Extinction Rebellion end blockade at Shell’s Aberdeen HQ

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Media captionThe Red Rebel Brigade group took part in the climate protest in Aberdeen.

Extinction Rebellion protesters have ended a blockade at the entrances to Shell’s Aberdeen headquarters.

Activists arrived at the Altens base at about 06:30 and remained at the site until 19:30 in a bid to “hold Shell to account”.

The group said the protest was part of its two-week long campaign targeting the fossil fuel industry.

Shell said it was addressing its emissions and helping customers to reduce theirs.

And industry body Oil and Gas UK (OGUK) said climate change would not be solved by “stunts”.

Extinction Rebellion also had its purple boat at the site.

The protesters were also in Aberdeen city centre on Thursday afternoon, including at the Union Square shopping centre.

Image copyright Extinction Rebellion Scotland
Image copyright Extinction Rebellion Scotland

A statement from Extinction Rebellion Scotland said: “Today’s successful protest marked the final day of 10 days of action focused on the fossil fuel industry, and in particular Shell’s role in driving the climate crisis.

“Thirty activists spent 13 hours blockading the entrances to Shell HQ all day, sending a message that we won’t take their wilful avoidance in the face of the climate emergency any more.”

The group vowed to continue taking action until governments and industry respond “sensibly and appropriately” to the warnings from scientists and public figures, such as broadcaster Sir David Attenborough.

It concluded: “Anything other than a rapid winding down of the fossil fuel industry is irresponsible and reckless.”

One of the protesters, Michael, a 57-year-old management consultant, said: “Governments and corporations like Shell all agree that my children are facing a catastrophic climate and ecological collapse yet are doing next to nothing to prevent this.

“I’m here today because as a parent I am ultimately responsible for the safety of my children whether today, tomorrow or in 30 years time.”

Image copyright Extinction Rebellion Scotland
Image caption The protest began early on Thursday

A Shell spokesman said: “The heightened awareness of climate change that we have seen over recent months is a good thing.

“As a company, we agree that urgent action is needed. What will really accelerate change is effective policy, investment in technology innovation and deployment, and changing customer behaviour.

“As we move to a lower-carbon future, we are committed to playing our part, by addressing our own emissions and helping customers to reduce theirs – because we all have a role to play.”

‘Taking action’

OGUK communications director Gareth Wynn said: “Climate change will be solved by practical actions not conspiracy theories and stunts.

“It’s disappointing that this group is choosing to disrupt the normal working day of people in this industry, causing alarm rather than engage in meaningful discussion with key decision makers.

“Our industry is packed full of people with the engineering and environmental knowledge and skills to play a key part in reducing emissions and we are already taking action.”

Ch Insp Davie Howieson, local area commander for Aberdeen South, said: “Officers are currently in attendance at a peaceful protest in Wellington Road, Aberdeen, outside the Shell premises.

“The road was blocked from around 06:45, and road users are advised to avoid the area for the time being. We are liaising with both Shell and the protest organisers, Extinction Rebellion.”

Staff at oil company EnQuest in Aberdeen were sent home as a “precautionary measure” ahead of the protest walk through the city centre.


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