BREAKING: Rig Rebellion 2.0

Extinction Rebellion Scotland occupy Shell gas rig in Dundee Harbour

#RigRebellion2.0 #ItsTimeToLevelUp

Australia is on fire. Half a billion animals have perished. Jakarta is flooded with 30,000 evacuated from their homes. Norway is experiencing an unprecedented heatwave. The Antarctic ice sheet is melting, with daily ice losses 50 years ahead of schedule. 100 companies are to blame for 71% of carbon emissions. 20 companies, almost of all of which are fossil fuel companies, are responsible for a third of all carbon emissions. Shell is in the top 10. 

This morning, Extinction Rebellion Scotland activists boarded a Shell gas rig currently parked in Dundee Harbour, which is destined for the North Sea. They have scaled the towers and intend to stay up there for as long as possible to stop the rig leaving the harbour, and to halt the rig’s extractive and destructive operations. They have assessed the risks and are properly prepared. 

Jo, 34, a gardener from Edinburgh explained; “I am doing this for my niece Ivy, who is an incredible little human. I don’t want to say to her that I didn’t take a stand when I had the choice and left it to other people to sort it out. I am going to give it my best shot and go down fighting, because I can see the world through her eyes and I want to protect things for her.” 

Extinction Rebellion Scotland and the rig rebels have three demands for the Scottish and UK Governments; 

  • Tell The Truth about the devastating impact of the fossil fuel industry and its responsibility for the climate and ecological crisis.
  • Act Now to decommission fossil fuel infrastructure and implement a just transition led by workers and frontline communities. 
  • Trust Ourselves by establishing a legally binding citizens assembly and putting decision making processes into the hands of the people. 

Fiona, 23 from the Highlands said; “We cannot decarbonise while continuing to extract and burn North Sea Oil and Gas. The 5.7 billion barrels currently available in our operating oil and gas fields give us zero chance of staying below ‘safe’ 2C warming. We are currently living in a world warmed by 1.1 C – and we are seeing the catastrophic, heartbreaking and devastating effects everyday. Yet we see vague targets set far in the future, and nothing concrete being done in the short term. The estimated oil and gas currently remaining in the North Sea is close to 20 billion barrels of oil. The industry, the Scottish and UK Governments are committed to extracting every last drop before 2050. If we do this, as ‘world leaders of tackling climate change’ (as the Scottish and UK Governments proclaim), we will be the Pied Piper’s of certain catastrophe.”  

This ‘world leading’ practice of draining oil and gas reserves is being replicated across the world, with extraction massively increasing. Research from Rystad Energy, a Norwegian consultancy regarded as the gold standard for data in the industry, forecasts Shell and ExxonMobil will be among the leaders with a projected production increase of more than 35% between 2018 and 2030 – a sharper rise than over the previous 12 years. 

As Australia burns, Shell celebrates the discovery of a massive new gas field off the coast of Western Australia. They are not slowing down. 

Alison, 28 from Dundee said; “Shell is not an asset to our economy. They avoided paying corporate income tax in the UK in 2018 despite generating pretax profits of 731 million dollars. They pay their CEO 143 times what the average worker receives. And they receive massive amounts of money in subsidies from the UK and Scottish Government. Worldwide, the fossil fuel industry receives five trillion dollars of subsidies a year. That’s $10 million a minute according to the International Monetary Fund.”

This industry must be wound up – and winding up the fossil fuel industry must be accompanied by a fair and just transition for and lead by workers and communities directly affected. Historically and globally, Shell have irreparably harmed communities, lands and people. In the late 90s in Nigeria, Shell was instrumental in the killing of nine activists who protested their badly managed and ecologically damaging pipelines; the Ogoni Nine. Extinction Rebellion Scotland acts in solidarity with the community of Ogoni, who continue to be affected today. 

The fossil fuel industry faces two options; deferred collapse or a managed transition. We are currently heading for a deferred collapse.

Mark, 21 from Aberdeen commented; “Thousands of people have worked tirelessly in this often dangerous industry to keep the lights on and we thank them for their service. They cannot be left behind. We need everyone to move towards a greener future – and we have the capability to in Scotland.”

Marco, 23 from Edinburgh said; “History has shown us that extractive industries like mining or fossil fuel extraction these corporations that run these industries have historically shown very little care for the communities in which they operate. When global commodity prices go down and the mines have to close, jobs disappear and communities are left behind. systematically. That is pretty much the story in every country in the world. They are not good employers. every time the oil prices go down, wages drop jobs are lost people are not protected.”

This is an uphill battle – but it’s one we’ve got win. 

More actions will be taking place throughout the country over the next fortnight, follow Extinction Rebellion Scotland on social media for updates. 

About Extinction Rebellion Scotland

Extinction Rebellion Scotland is a non-violent direct-action movement formed to take urgent action in the face of climate emergency and ecological catastrophe, as part of the global justice movement.

Our demands, issued as a Declaration of Rebellion to the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government on 24 November 2018, are as follows:

  1. That the Scottish government tell the truth about the climate and wider ecological emergency, acknowledge and reverse any policies that help drive the climate crisis, and commit to enabling a rapid and just transition to a sustainable and fair society.
  2. That the Scottish government enact legally binding policy measures to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025, including by replacing a system based on accelerating consumption with one based on ensuring the well-being of all.
  3. The creation of a Scottish Climate Citizens’ Assembly to oversee the changes, as part of creating a democracy fit for purpose and a society that cares for all.

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