At least 10 people have been arrested following a wave of climate action targeting offices of Shell and the UK Government.
On Wednesday, members of Extinction Rebellion glued themselves to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in London, protesting the government’s “irresponsible and dangerous pursuit of new fossil fuels”.
It’s understood at least 10 people were arrested after spray-painting XR symbols on the glass façade of the building.
Meanwhile, XR also claimed to have occupied the London headquarters of Shell (LON: SHEL), telling its workers to jump ship.
XR said on twitter that all of the protestors had “now been arrested”.
🚨 UPDATE: All the rebels @Shell have now been arrested.
More rebels remain superglued outside in an attempt to hold one of the world's most destructive & dangerous corporations to account #ecocide
TOMORROW – Outreach, community & creativity on the South Bank around Tate pic.twitter.com/sIrPE6ygKC
— Extinction Rebellion UK 🌍 (@XRebellionUK) April 13, 2022
It said its activists had entered the Shell HQ requesting a meeting with CEO Ben Van Beurden.
According to news reports, around 100 people from XR held up signs with the name of an individual Shell employee saying “please join us.”
Responding on Twitter, business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng hit back at the protestors.
He said: “You cannot – and we won’t – switch off domestic oil and gas production.
“Doing so would put energy security, jobs and industries at risk – and would simply increase foreign imports, not reduce demand.”
My message to XR activists gluing themselves (?!) to my Department:
You cannot – and we won’t – switch off domestic oil and gas production.
Doing so would put energy security, jobs and industries at risk – and would simply increase foreign imports, not reduce demand.
— Kwasi Kwarteng (@KwasiKwarteng) April 13, 2022
A Shell spokesman said:“We agree that society needs to take urgent action on climate change. Shell has a clear target to become a net-zero emissions business by 2050, in step with society. We are also committed to the UK and are planning to invest £20-25 billion in the UK energy system over the next decade – more than 75% of this will be in low and zero-carbon, including offshore wind, hydrogen and electric mobility.
“We respect the right of everyone to express their point of view and welcome constructive engagement on our strategy and the energy transition. We do ask, however, that in doing so people do not intimidate our people or put anyone’s safety at risk.”
Scientists now glued on at BEIS. Why?
"Last week scientists released a report that sounded the final alarm. We must end our addiction to #FossilFuels fuels NOW.
The UK Government then announced it will increase exploration for oil & gas"
Dr Thierry – Earth-System Scientist pic.twitter.com/GK5Nt4X1T1
— ScientistsForXR (@ScientistsX) April 13, 2022
Earlier on Wednesday the Stop Cambo campaign group launched an offensive on a new front, this time going after Shell’s Jackdaw project.
A BEIS spokesperson said: “We are gradually driving down demand for oil and gas, but we cannot have a cliff edge by turning off our domestic source overnight.
“Doing so would put our energy security, British jobs and industries at risk and simply increase foreign imports, not reduce demand.
“Our British energy security strategy sets out a long-term plan to ramp up cheap renewables as we transition away from expensive fossil fuels.”