August 19, 2021
From Extinction Rebellion (UK)
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Extinction Rebellion are protesting against major expansion plans at Fawley Refinery in Hampshire, the biggest oil refinery in the UK. Protestors are also making a new immediate demand ahead of the next major Rebellion beginning in London on Monday: Stop all new fossil fuel investment now. 

Beginning around 9am this morning climate campaigners dressed as Grim Reapers and mounted on two metre high steel tripods blocked the entrance to ExxonMobil’s Hythe Terminal at Fawley Refinery in Hampshire, the UK’s biggest oil refinery.

Below them a protestor dressed as an ExxonMobil executive, in a faceless mask, pumped fake blood from an oil barrel, whilst others enacted a die-in to the beat of a lone drum.

ExxonMobil has begun a massive expansion of its diesel production facilities at Fawley, as well as laying a new, larger bore pipeline to supply Heathrow and other airports with ever greater quantities of fossil fuel, despite the unequivocal science that states we need to drastically reduce emissions.

Irrefutable evidence shows that ExxonMobil has known about the devastating effects of fossil fuel production on the environment for over 40 years, concluding in 1979  that it “will cause dramatic environmental effects” in the coming decades and saying “the potential problem is great and urgent”. [1]

However, instead of acting responsibly on that knowledge, they’ve spent tens of millions funding climate denial and misinformation and obstructing a transition to cleaner energy sources. [2] A senior ExxonMobil lobbyist recently admitted that the company was aggressively fighting against some of the science. [3]

The protestors have pledged to continue their blockade until the Fawley management come to the gates to answer their concerns.

James Knapp, 55, a photographer from Dorking who took part in the action, said: “The IPCC report released on 9 August is a Code Red for Planet Earth. As UN Secretary General António Guterres said: ‘The evidence is irrefutable: greenhouse gas emissions are choking our planet and placing billions of people in danger. ExxonMobil’s expansion of production at Fawley is another nail in our coffin, we call on the Government to act now to stop all new investment in fossil fuels.” [4] [5]

Jon Kennedy, 42, a mechanical design engineer from Brighton, said: “The impacts of just 1.1 degrees increased heat are all around us – from the droughts that bring massive forest fires to the increased evaporation that’s resulting in fatal flooding.

“These impacts are coming faster than predicted, yet worse is to come and soon it could be beyond human control to set limits on heating as more climate feedback loops are triggered.” [6]

Venetia Carter, 57, a tutor from Brighton, added: “Our governments have been complicit in their failure to transition to renewables. They blame ‘demand’ for fossil fuels7, as if this isn’t a result of their own energy and transport policies.

Only protective decarbonisation of our economies can even begin to set limits on the scale of death, destruction and mass extinction that climate change brings. At the very least there must be no new investment in fossil fuel infrastructure. This is Extinction Rebellion’s new IMMEDIATE DEMAND: Stop all new fossil fuel investment NOW.

Notes to editors

Livestream to the action here: https://www.facebook.com/XRebellionUK/

Picture link (pictures available from 11am): https://show.pics.io/xr-global-media-breaking-news-content-600ed2733c68d80019a19bc7/search?tagId=611ba26221ffea0013a16ee2

Ban New Fossil Fuel Investment – as part of this action Extinction Rebellion teamed up with Ocean Rebellion to project the Immediate Demand on a fossil fuel tanker moored at ExxonMobil Fawley’s mile long jetty.

Hi-res image available here; https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1VwHCEwVrf0wHAPpWTKpAKSHiU3ONS2ai?usp=sharing

[1] https://www.desmog.com/exxonmobil-funding-climate-science-denial/

[2] https://unearthed.greenpeace.org/2021/06/30/exxon-climate-change-undercover/

[3] https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/08/1097362

[4] https://twitter.com/antonioguterres/status/1424649118312435714?s=20

[5] “We share the passion of many in ending our contribution to climate change and protecting our planet…We are working hard to drive down demand for fossil fuels, but…there will continue to be ongoing demand for oil and gas.” The Dept of Business Energy & Industrial Strategy in response to the XR blockade of BP Hamble on June 1st

[6] We are expected to hit 1.5 degrees with the next 5 years. At 2°C of global warming, heat extremes are more likely to reach critical tolerance thresholds for agriculture and health. (IPCC 2021)

[7] https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aa815f#erlaa815ft3

ABOUT EXTINCTION REBELLION

Time has almost entirely run out to address the ecological crisis which is upon us, including the 6th mass species extinction, global pollution, and increasingly rapid climate change. If urgent and radical action isn’t taken, we’re heading towards 4˚C warming, and the societal collapse and mass loss of life that that implies. The younger generation, racially marginalised communities and the Global South are on the front-line. No-one will escape the devastating impacts.

Extinction Rebellion believes it is a citizen’s duty to rebel, using peaceful civil disobedience, when faced with criminal inactivity by their Government.

Extinction Rebellion’s key demands are:

  1. Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
  2. Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
  3. Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

What Emergency? | Extinction Rebellion in Numbers |This Is Not A Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook 

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Source: Extinctionrebellion.uk