Seven arrests at London protest over oilfield project

published on Monday, October 11, 2021 at 7:28 p.m.

British police on Monday arrested seven environmental activists from Greenpeace, who had organized a sit-in opposite Downing Street in London, to ask the Prime Minister to stop the Cambo oil field project, off the Shetland Islands in Scotland .

The seven protesters arrested are suspected of having blocked a road, police said, claiming that it took several hours to dislodge activists who had locked themselves in oil barrels.

“Boris: Stop Cambo,” proclaimed a banner held by protesters, sitting on the pavement and surrounding a 3.60-meter statue of Conservative leader Boris Johnson with black-stained hands and suit.

At the feet of the statue, a plaque read “Cambo Oil Field: Johnson’s Monumental Climate Failure”. The Prime Minister did not see it, as he is currently on vacation with his family in southern Spain.

The British government is expected to approve the development of this project soon despite opposition from environmentalists and its commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

This action by Greenpeace comes a few weeks before the opening of the COP26 international climate summit in Glasgow on October 31.

“Johnson must stop Cambo and prioritize a just transition to renewables to protect consumers, workers and the climate from future shocks,” said Greenpeace activist Philip Evans.

The NGO expects the government to announce its decision on Cambo shortly, and warns that oil extracted from Cambo in its first phase “would produce emissions equivalent to those of up to 18 coal-fired power plants operating for a year” .

The Times reported last month that Boris Johnson supports development projects in the North Sea, saying the government considers it “unrealistic to impose a moratorium on new projects”.

London believes the country must become less dependent on imports. The UK is currently facing a crisis caused by soaring gas prices, on which the country is heavily dependent. It only produces about 48% of its supply.

The Cambo oil field contains the equivalent of more than 800 million barrels of oil, of which 170 million are expected to be extracted in the first phase of the project. It is 70% owned by Siccar Point Energy, backed by US private equity firm Blackstone, and 30% by Shell UK.

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