Climate change activists scale Scottish Parliament building

The Extinction Rebellion protesters aim to remain on the roof until First Minister's Questions ends at 2pm.

Climate change activists scale Scottish Parliament building STV News

A group of climate change activists have climbed the Scottish Parliament and dropped a banner over the Holyrood building.

The Extinction Rebellion protesters say they aim to remain on the roof until First Minister’s Questions ends at 2pm.

The banner read ‘Choose Oil or Choose Life: Act Now’ and marks the beginning of their ‘Make the Connections’ campaign.

Police Scotland superintendent Simon Jeacocke confirmed the force was aware of the “protect activity” and said: “Officers are in attendance to maintain public safety and minimise disruption.”

A statement from Extinction Rebellion Scotland claimed: “We are hurtling towards the breakdown of the support systems we rely on for life. This has not happened by accident, we have known the science and the solutions for decades.

“Wilful obstruction by finance and fossil fuel companies have led to our government implementing weak climate change policy which shores up the profits of these companies, while putting all of our lives at risk.”

Advertising boards with the banner slogan also appeared in Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen and Stirling overnight.

One climber, Myke Hall, 33, a writer from Leith said: “If the Scottish Government really wants to be world leaders on the climate emergency they need to stop pretending that big fossil fuel companies are part of the solution.

“These corporations have known about ecological breakdown for decades and have only drilled deeper. They serve the bank accounts of billionaire shareholders, not the workers, not the people of Scotland, and certainly not those suffering today in the areas most affected.”

Another climber, Meg Peyton Jones, a biologist from Edinburgh added: “Scotland is financially and politically tied to a destructive and dying industry: this does not have to be the case, and we call on the government for a just transition away from oil, led by the workers rather than corporations.”

A Scottish Parliament spokesman said: “This is a Police Scotland matter. The parliament’s police unit are in attendance.”

Meanwhile, a Scottish Government spokesman said: “The oil and gas industry is a significant component of the Scottish economy and has a crucial role to play in the energy transition required to move to an economy and society that generates net zero greenhouse gas emissions. Now, more than ever, we need a just transition that supports sustainable economic growth and jobs.”

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