Extinction Rebellion is blockading the main entrance to a rig maintenance facility at Port of Cromarty Firth’s Invergordon base.
Protestors have erected a 4.2 metre prop oil platform, made using scrap materials, and have unfurled a banner saying “Decommission Me Now”.
According to the environmental group, the demonstration kicked off at 6.50am this morning, with four people locking themselves onto prop oil barrels, preventing access to the site.
Others are holding banners nearby saying “Climate Emergency” and “No Future in Fossil Fuels”.
John Lardner, 69, an XR Scotland member and retired history teacher, said “The Chapham House report says that even if the Paris Agreement carbon emissions were achieved, we have almost no chance of staying below pre-industrial levels of warming. We have to act now. Our carbon budget is empty. We have no option.”
In recent times, the Cromarty Firth has acted as a base for unused rigs as the industry downturn and Covid-19 led to a lack of demand for vessels.
It has prompted complaints from locals about the area becoming an “oil rig graveyard”.
XR Scotland is calling for an end to fossil fuel extraction and for oil and gas workers to be able to transition into decommissioning and renewables.
More than 600,000 jobs are at risk if the UK fall’s behind in green infrastructure and jobs, the group claimed.
Solidarity with @ScotlandXr who continue to block Ivergordon oil service base
— Extinction Rebellion UK 🌍 (@XRebellionUK) October 6, 2021
Maciej Walczuk, 19, XR Scotland activist and engineering student “We don’t have a choice, the fossil fuel industry is already causing deaths of the most vulnerable people on this planet. Places like this must look into the future, to survive they need to transform into doing work that doesn’t compromise our future instead of trying to continue making profit off the expansion of a deadly industry.”
Debate is still raging in the UK about plans for the Cambo field, west of Shetland.
Jointly owned by Shell and Siccar Point Energy, the project would yield around 800 barrels of oil.
Industry figures have defended Cambo, arguing that scrapping the development would only lead to an increase in imports, potentially from higher emitting areas.
But others claim the project is at odds with climate change and the UK’s ambition to be a net zero nation by 2050.
Eleanor Harris, 23, XR Scotland activist and community artist, said: “As someone who desperately wants to have children, it breaks my heart that projects like Cambo are still in the pipeline jeopardising any chance we have of a livable future and leading to the death of billions of people.”