Activists use green washing machine to block power station

A green washing machine is part of a creative blockade of Peterhead power station this morning with four rebels locked-on.

Activists sitting and locked onto green washing machine with Peterhead Power Station in background.
Peterhead Activists locked onto green washing machine

Starting 6.10am, about 20 activists from Extinction Rebellion Scotland and Glasgow Calls Out Polluters have blocked the entrance to the SSE gas power station in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, preventing vehicle access to the site, with four activists locked-on to a green-painted washing machine and two red gas canisters. The group have a banner saying ‘Clean Gas is a Dirty Lie’ and have hung green clothes on a washing line, which include slogans like ‘COP26: Stop the Greenwash’ and ‘Climate Inaction Kills’.

“Greenwashing” is when a company pays to advertise themselves as friends of the environment, while continuing to cause ecological destruction. [1]

The UK Government have taken money from SSE to sponsor the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow this November [2], while the company run Scotland’s most polluting power station [3]. This is part of a series of Extinction Rebellion non-violent direct actions calling out “greenwashing” ahead of the G7 conference in Cornwall on 10 June [4].

Cathel Hutchison from Glasgow Calls Out Polluters said: “By sponsoring COP26 in Glasgow, SSE want you to think they are leading the charge into a renewable future. They are havering! SSE are not fit to be given a platform at COP26. That is why we support our friends at XR Scotland to call out SSE as the climate wreckers they truly are!”

The activists are also calling for a “Just Transition” away from a fossil fuel based economy that does not abandon those who would be most affected by that shift.

Stuart Bretherton, 23, support worker and XR Scotland activist said: “Despite the UK Government’s rhetoric on new green jobs, companies like SSE continue to exploit cheap overseas labour. The Government need to ramp up the pressure on companies like SSE to end fossil fuel extraction and deliver a just transition for the sake of the local workforce.”

Later, a choir of singers will join the protest, performing tunes such as ‘This Planet’s All We Got’ and ‘I’m Gonna Sing for This World”.

This action has been organised with Covid-19 safety precautions in mind. Participants are wearing face masks, social distancing when possible, and have taken tests or been vaccinated in advance.


[1] What is Greenwashing? How to Spot It and Stop it

[2] Row over choice of SSE as major sponsor for the UN COP 26 climate talks in Glasgow

[3] Britain’s Biggest Polluters

[4] We’re drowning in promises!’ Extinction Rebellion announces plan of action for Cornwall G7 Summit

About Glasgow Calls Out Polluters

Glasgow Calls Out Polluters are a campaign group organising to kick big polluters out of the COP26 international climate talks when they come to Glasgow in November 2021.

Peterhead Power Station: activists block road with banners, gas canisters and green washing machine
Peterhead Power Station: activists block road with banners, gas canisters and washing machine
Peterhead Power Station: activist sitting on road and locked on to gas canister
Activist locked on to gas canister at Peterhead Power Station blockade
banner in foreground saying Clean Gas is a Dirty. Peterhead Power Station shrouded by fog.
Early morning fog at Peterhead Power Station blockade
Peterhead Power Station: activists block road with banners, gas canisters and washing machine. Peterhead Power Station chimney in background shrouded by fog.
Peterhead Power Station blockade

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