Climate activists blockade UK Government building to protest oil field

The protesters were displaying their opposition to Shell's proposed Jackdaw field of the coast of Aberdeenshire.

Climate activists blockade UK Government building in Edinburgh to protest proposed North Sea oil field Extinction Rebellion Scotland via Twitter

Climate activists are blockading a UK Government building in Edinburgh to protest a proposed oil field in the North Sea.

The activists staged a sit-down protest in front of the building on the capital’s Market Street on Wednesday to show their opposition to Shell’s proposed Jackdaw field off the coast of Aberdeenshire.

A UK Government consultation on whether or not to approve Shell’s plans for Jackdaw runs until Monday.

The energy giant’s previous application was turned down by regulators but Shell submitted a new application last week.

Lauren MacDonald, a climate activist with the Stop Cambo campaign said: “Jackdaw will not lower bills, it will not provide energy security, and it will push us further towards an unlivable climate. And for what? So Shell can carry on ripping us off.

“People in the UK want energy that is affordable and doesn’t put our climate and our future at risk, which means scaling up renewable energy now, insulating millions of leaky homes and immediately stopping the expansion of oil and gas production. 

“This government needs to go away and come up with a better energy plan, one that benefits the public and not just Shell.” 

Friends of the Earth Scotland claim Jackdaw’s output will only meet around 1-2% of UK gas demand over its lifetime, while creating more than half of Scotland’s annual emissions.

Caroline Rance, Friends of the Earth Scotland climate and energy campaigner, said: “Opening up the Jackdaw gas field would be a reckless move that would further lock the UK into a broken energy system which is driving up energy bills and accelerating the climate crisis.

“Whilst today’s protest is aimed at the UK Government, the First Minister must speak out against the Jackdaw field as she so rightly did on the controversial Cambo field. 

“Every new fossil fuel project the UK Government supports takes us further away from a fair and fast transition for workers and communities currently reliant on the oil and gas sector.”

The Jackdaw protest comes after it was revealed that plans to develop the controversial Cambo oil field off the coast of Shetland could be back on track.

Shell pulled out of the development last year saying the economic case lacked strength.

Siccar Point Energy, Shell’s partners in the development, said it was disappointed at Shell’s change of position but stated that it remained confident in the merits of the project.

Siccar Point Energy has since been purchased by a rival company – Ithaca Energy – who have pledged to move forward with plans to develop the Cambo project.

Cambo is expected to deliver up to 170 million barrels of oil during its 25-year operational life, which Ithaca said would help reduce the need to import more carbon intensive alternatives and increase the UK’s energy independence.

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