BREAKING: Extinction Rebellion Scotland blockade Ineos gates at Grangemouth
October 23, 2020
- XR Scotland are taking action today against Ineos, Scotland’s biggest climate polluter as part of their Make the Connections campaign highlighting the collusion between government, fossil fuels and finance on maintaining business as usual in the face of catastrophic climate breakdown
- According to the Government’s own SEPA, Ineos is Scotland’s biggest climate polluter.
- Small affinity groups of no more than 6 individuals have locked themselves together at the gates and aim to remain there all day
- Two boats are being used to block the entrances to the refinery and the headquarters.
This morning, Extinction Rebellion Scotland activists blocked the entrances to Ineos in Grangemouth. Groups of no more than six have locked themselves together and they have parked ‘Amal Gous’ at the Bo’ness Road gate, the iconic purple boat named after the activist and tea seller killed by Sudanese troops in 2019 and is painted with the words “Act Now: The future you fear is already here”.
Another boat is parked at the Ineos office on Inchyra Road, with more activists locked on, painted with the words “Just Transition”. This boat has been named ‘Ogoni Nine’ in honour of the activists who opposed Shell’s land grab of the Niger Delta for decades and were eventually executed in 1995 for their efforts. The UK and its fossil fuel driven economy continues to profit from the suffering of others. XR Scotland demands that any just transition away from fossil fuels also redresses injustices both internationally and historically.
A further demonstration will take place outside the Ineos office in London from 8am – 10am.
Covid-19 safety precautions are being taken, including face masks, social distancing, use of hand sanitiser, and participating activists are using a track and trace app.
In official data released by SEPA last week, the petrochemical multinational Ineos is by far the largest climate polluter in Scotland. The five oil, chemical and power plants owned by the company at Grangemouth spewed 3.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the air during 2019, while Ineos’ owner Jim Ratcliffe, 75th richest man in the world, has recently moved to Monaco to escape paying tax.
Despite the moratorium on fracking in Scotland, Ineos continues to import and process fracked gas from the United States at its plant at Grangemouth. Fracking was essentially banned in Scotland for being unsafe and a big contributor to climate change. Yet it is pure hypocrisy to be profiting from the suffering of some of the poorest communities in the States, who are experiencing the horrific and unjust effects of living in a place where fracking happens – terrorised by earthquakes, contaminated water supplies and flaring.
Ineos is also attempting to resurrect plans to drill for underground gas in central Scotland, intensely lobbying our representatives for their own gain.
Today’s action has been taken in the spirit of this: Extinction Rebellion Scotland aims to actively cut emissions with our actions today by shutting down the Ineos plant.
Mark, 46, a care worker from Glasgow said; “I’m here today as an everyday citizen with Extinction Rebellion Scotland to highlight the fact that Ineos are Scotland’s single biggest polluter driving climate change. Controversial fracked gas is imported from the U.S. to be turned into plastics here at Grangemouth, and Ineos recently requested a £550 million bailout of tax-payers money due to losses they claim Covid restrictions caused, all while Jim Ratcliffe the majority owner and CEO of Ineos, the richest (or 3rd richest, depending on source) man in the U.K. has been accused of tax evasion as he recently changed his status to being domiciled in Monaco, a tax haven”.
Annie Lane, 26 from Glasgow said; “Ineos Grangemouth is Scotland’s largest climate polluter. It is Scotland’s only crude oil refinery. It also stores fracked gas from the States. Given the widely assumed ‘ban’ on fracking in Scotland, for fracked gas which harms communities worldwide to still be processed here is outrageously hypocritical. We are here to expose the climate destruction that Ineos is causing. We are running out of time, with the climate crisis affecting so many in the global south already. If Scotland really wants to be the “Climate Leaders” they claim to be, we need to see a just transition to a greener and fairer society, led by ordinary people and not corrupt billionaires like Jim Ratcliffe.”
Meg Peyton Jones from Edinburgh said “We’re ten years on from Scotland’s first Climate Act, and yet plants such as Grangemouth are still being expanded. We cannot trust big oil corporations to prioritise the planet and the long term wellbeing of either their workers or the general population above squeezing every last drop of oil and gas out of the North Sea, no matter how much they try to distract us with greenwash about renewables. The government, big oil and big finance companies have outwardly promised for decades to reduce our destruction of the climate, whilst continuing to profit from it. We cannot continue to believe they will solve this crisis they created for their own gain: we need a people-led, worker-led solution, made for the people, by the people – not for profit by the profiteers.”
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 24th November 2018, are as follows;
- 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.
- 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 wellbeing of all.
- The creation of a legally binding Scottish Climate Citizens’ Assembly to oversee the changes, as part of creating a democracy fit for purpose and a society that cares for all.