Scotland: Climate activists blockade Shell headquarters

Activists plan to shut down the oil giant's offices for the entire day.

    XR Scotland's boat is named after an activist killed during protests in Sudan [Twitter/@ScotlandXR]
    XR Scotland's boat is named after an activist killed during protests in Sudan [Twitter/@ScotlandXR]

    Climate change activists have blocked the entrance to the Scottish headquarters of oil giant Shell.

    Extinction Rebellion (XR) Scotland members began their protest at the premises on Altens Farm Road at 6:30am on Thursday and said they plan to stay there all day.

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    The group say they have secured the entrances with lock-on equipment and the main entrance with XR Scotland's big purple boat, named Amal Gous after an activist killed in protests in Sudan.

    XR said they plan to shut the building down to disrupt business and hold Shell to account for its role in the climate crisis.

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    Police said they were called to the scene at approximately 6:45am on Thursday.

    "If the whole world reaches zero carbon emissions by 2030, we only have a 75 percent chance of staying below [an increase of] 2C," said one of the protesters, who gave his name as Paul, 43, from Aberdeenshire.

    "These are terrible odds; and by committing to continued production decades into the future, Shell is literally destroying our future.

    "The more successful fossil fuel companies like Shell are, the worse our future is going to be. We have to stop them carrying on as if their product does no harm. "

    The purple boat bears the words "The Future You Fear Is Already Here" - a reminder that "catastrophic" climate change is already under way across the planet.

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    The action is part of Rig Rebellion 2.0, a two-week campaign by Extinction Rebellion Scotland targeting the fossil fuel industry and the institutions that support it.

    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."

    Last month, activists from campaign group Greenpeace were banned from protesting on Shell's North Sea oil rigs, after occupying two in October in protest at Shell's plans to leave 11,000 tonnes of oil sediment in the concrete legs of soon-to-be-decommissioned drilling platforms.

    Shell has asked the UK government to support it in getting an exemption from the Ospar convention - strict international rules on marine pollution, to which the UK is a party.

    SOURCE: News agencies