May 18, 2022
From Extinction Rebellion (UK)
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At 5:30pm this evening, Extinction Rebellion took action to prevent the Africa Energies Summit gala dinner at Gordon Ramsay’s Heddon Street Kitchen in central London from going ahead. The gala dinner is sponsored by Schlumberger, the world’s largest oilfields services provider. [1]

Six people glued to the doors and windows of the restaurant to prevent the delegates from entering. They each wore patches reading ‘JUSTICE FOR AFRICA’.​​​​​​

This is the second day of protests at the Africa Energies Summit, a conference that is attended by oil executives and African heads of state with the intention of facilitating “top-level networking”. [2] The conference is sponsored by fossil fuel companies including Shell, Total, Perenco, and Schlumberger, who have all published record profits at a time when people in the UK are facing a cost of living crisis. [3] The IPPC report released in March this year stated that the continued use of fossil fuels will mean that half the population of the continent of Africa could be displaced within the next eight years. [4]

Amelia Halls, 24, one of the protesters, said: “As a continent, Africa contributes just 2% of global carbon emissions, but is experiencing some of the worst impacts of climate and ecological breakdown. Whilst fossil fuel companies make huge profits, people in Africa face droughts, heatwaves, floods, food insecurity, displacement and conflict. Companies such as Schlumberger are profiting from the death and suffering their actions are causing, and we cannot stand by and watch this happen.

“Every day these companies choose to continue to destroy the conditions that make the planet habitable, and with every choice they make, they entrench themselves further on the wrong side of history. I don’t want to have to glue myself to buildings, but until the fossil fuels industry stops the destruction, I will continue to act. I refuse to be a bystander.”

Schlumberger – the sponsor of the gala dinner – provides technologies and services to help fossil fuel companies increase their oil and gas extraction in over 120 countries. [5] In Nigeria, Schlumberger helped Shell to drill the Niger Delta’s first commercial oil well at Oloibiri in 1957. [6] Sixty-six years later, Oloibiri’s land and water are poisoned, and Indigenous Ijaw people are dying from tumours, cancer and neurological diseases as a result. [7] The Niger Delta is now one of the most oil-polluted places on the planet, with estimated clean-up costs of over $1bn. [8] Schlumberger also helps companies find new oil and gas reserves to exploit in Africa. Last year, activists in South Africa won a temporary court injunction against underwater surveying conducted by Shell in search of new oil deposits off the country’s Wild Coast, which utilised ecologically-destructive seismic blasting technology developed by Schlumberger. [9] [10] [11]

There are currently 782 fossil fuel projects in operation or under construction in West, East, Central and Southern Africa. [12] New fossil fuel projects risk locking countries into dependency, causing human rights abuses and destroying livelihoods, homes and ecologies. In Capo Delgado Mozambique, up to 1 million people have been displaced by Total’s gas project. [13] The East African Crude Oil pipeline is depriving 14,000 households of land and facilitating the destruction of up to 2000km2 of protected wildlife habitats. [14] The French oil company Perenco is currently on trial for serious environmental and health violations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. [15]

Notes to editors

[1] https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/schlumberger-third-quarter-profit-rises-as-oilfield-services-demand-recovers-2021-10-22  

[2] https://extinctionrebellion.uk/2022/05/17/extinction-rebellion-disrupt-africa-oil-conference-in-mayfair/

[3] https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2022/mar/10/facebook-posts/yes-oil-companies-are-reporting-record-breaking-pr/

[4] https://www.climate-refugees.org/spotlight/2022/3/3/ipcc-africa#:~:text=For%20context%20the%20entire%20population,record%20breaking%20droughts%20even%20today.

[5] https://www.slb.com/who-we-are

[6] https://www.thecable.ng/schlumberger-commits-700m-new-oil-fields-niger-delta

[7] https://www.ijawwomenofamerica.com/project-2017-clean-water

[8] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2011/aug/04/niger-delta-oil-spill-clean-up-un

[9] https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-11-21-road-to-hell-for-marine-life-shells-wild-coast-seismic-assessment-plans-meet-mounting-public-protest/

[10] https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/04/26/south-africa-shell-wild-coast/

[11] https://www.shearwatergeo.com/299/marine-acquisition/seismic-fleet/amazon-warrior

https://www.slb.com/newsroom/press-release/2018/pr-2018-08-22-shearwater

[12] https://www.banktrack.org/download/locked_out_of_a_just_transition_fossil_fuel_financing_in_africa/07_md_banktrack_fossil_fuels_africa_rpt_hr_1.pdf

[13] https://friendsoftheearth.uk/climate/fuelling-war-friends-earth-mozambique-update-us-real-cost-gas-power

[14] https://www.stopeacop.net/why-stop-eacop

[15] https://www.asso-sherpa.org/victory-over-the-transnational-corporation-perenco-a-step-forward-in-the-fight-against-opacity-and-for-access-to-justice

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