Climate activists have blocked the entrance to a UK Government building in protest at plans for a new oilfield in the North Sea.
At around 7.30am on Monday, 12 activists entered Queen Elizabeth House, the newly-built government hub on Sibbald Walk in Edinburgh.
The group has demanded that Prime Minister Boris Johnson halts approval of the Cambo oilfield, based off the coast of the Shetland Islands.
Having entered the building, the activists sat and lay down within the main entrance area.
Mikaela Loach, a fourth-year medical student and climate activist said: “Floods are ripping through Germany.
“Madagascans are starving and thirsty in a fierce drought. North Americans are dying in unprecedented deadly heatwaves and wildfires rage.
“And the Amazon is emitting more CO2 than it absorbs. In all this chaos, the UK Government, host of the COP26 UN Climate Negotiations, is happy to sign away 800m barrels of oil, just so a few shareholders can turn a profit.
“This is criminal. The Cambo oilfield must be stopped.”
Neil Rothnie, 68, a former oil worker, added: “I don’t believe that we can just keep on exploring for, and producing, all the planet’s oil and gas.
“My understanding of the science is that if we do that, climate change will destroy the planet as we know it, and much of the life it supports. I have young grandchildren.
“That destruction could be well advanced in their grandchildren’s lifetime.”
The actions taken by the activists are set to be followed by a rally at the government hub at 4pm on Monday.
A UK Government spokesperson said: “Following an incident this morning at Queen Elizabeth House in Edinburgh we are working with the police to ensure everyone’s safety.
“Currently the vast majority of UK Government civil servants continue to work from home, as they have done throughout the pandemic. This means our services are unaffected by today’s activity.”