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Ellie Goulding says those with vested interests in fossil fuels ‘out to get’ climate activists

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Ellie Goulding has said those with vested interests in fossil fuels are “out to get” climate activists.

Speaking at Overheated, an event presented by Billie Eilish that is bringing together environmental activists, musicians and designers, the singer-songwriter spoke about meeting young climate campaigners on the sidelines of a United Nations environment meeting in Sweden last week.

“It really was my happy place, because I know that you guys represent real change,” she said of the activists, adding that some had travelled days to get there – including some by canoe – and that she had met others from active war zones who had lost everything but still made the effort to be there.

“In some cases these youth activists are considered enemy number one back home by their own governments,” said Ms Goulding, who is a UN Environment Programme Goodwill Ambassador. “As I’ve always said, those with vested interests in oil and gas and mining, who are destroying the ancestral lands of these young people, are out to get to them.”

Ellie Goulding speaking at Overheated, presented by Billie Eilish on Friday (Billie Eilish, YouTube)
Ellie Goulding speaking at Overheated, presented by Billie Eilish on Friday (Billie Eilish, YouTube)

Ms Goulding said she would continue to champion youth activists and would do “everything in my power” to get them a seat at the top table.

“They are my heroes,” she said.

Ms Goulding said that when she first started to express the fears and hopes she had about the climate crisis she was surprised that so few people in the music industry were talking about it. Soon after that, she said, she started to experience a backlash for expressing these views and losing followers on social media.

“Everything I said seemed to have really huge repercussions, and apparently saying out loud that I was frightened for our future was a big deal,” she said. “I was pleading for us to keep forests intact, one of the most important things, and was treated as if I was making a really big political statement.”

Ms Goulding said she carried on for three reasons.

The first, she said, was that she had an “intuitive understanding” that “we are 100 per cent reliant on these incredible natural systems”.

The second was that she did not trust the people who had the microphone and found their reassurances not so reassuring.

“Too many old dudes with strong connections to the oil industry for my liking,” she said.

“Global heating seemed to be global cheating – there was always an excuse or some mad plan that seemed to benefit them but no other member of humanity.”

Ellie Goulding said those with vested interests in fossil fuels were ‘out to get’ climate activists (Getty Images)
Ellie Goulding said those with vested interests in fossil fuels were ‘out to get’ climate activists (Getty Images)

The third reason was all the young people who were taking action, she said.

“Thanks to the young people who have stood up and pushed their way into the official processes and made the climate and nature crisis their priority,” Ms Goulding told the audience.

“These are my heroes, genuinely, and your allies,” she added. “And together, you’re the people I want representing me – you have the interests of this planet at heart.”

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