Just Stop Oil daub ‘blood on your hands’ in red paint on government office

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The protesters, who are calling on the government to halt all new oil and gas licences, scrawled ‘blood on your hands’ in red paint (Just Stop Oil)
The protesters, who are calling on the government to halt all new oil and gas licences, scrawled ‘blood on your hands’ in red paint (Just Stop Oil)

Climate activists have thrown red paint over a government building in Edinburgh in protest at the new Jackdaw gas field after it was awarded final regulatory approval.

Nine demonstrators from the Just Stop Oil group threw paint over Queen Elizabeth House – home to 3,000 civil servants from a range of UK government departments – calling the commissioning of new fossil fuel facilities “morally bankrupt”.

The protesters, who are urging the government to halt all new oil and gas licences, scrawled “blood on your hands” in red paint across the ground floor windows and entrance to the building.

Police and security officers wearing white overalls removed the protesters from their positions on the floor outside the building after several hours.

Alex, a 24-year-old PhD student from Glasgow studying hydrogen production as a green fuel and who is involved with Just Stop Oil, said: “Commissioning new fossil fuel facilities is the morally bankrupt plan of a criminal cartel protecting oil and gas over life on earth. That is why this announcement has been made the night before the Queen’s jubilee. They think we won’t notice, they think we won’t care, but we are here to show them that they are wrong.”

Kwasi Kwarteng confirmed on Wednesday afternoon that the Jackdaw gas field – originally licensed in 1970 – had received final regulatory approval (Just Stop Oil)
Kwasi Kwarteng confirmed on Wednesday afternoon that the Jackdaw gas field – originally licensed in 1970 – had received final regulatory approval (Just Stop Oil)

Another activist, Su, a 23-year-old political science student, said: “I believe that we have to do anything in our power to show that we’re not ok with these destructive policies.

“New oil and gas is not the solution; it’s not providing energy security or dealing with the cost of living crisis. If this government really wanted that, it would be insulating homes and investing in renewables.

“We are demanding an affordable, reliable energy supply that doesn’t destroy the economy, doesn’t cause a cost of living crisis and doesn’t destroy the liveable planet for generations to come.”

Just Stop Oil is a coalition of groups working together to demand that the government immediately halt all future licensing and consents for the exploration, development and production of fossil fuels in the UK (Just Stop Oil)
Just Stop Oil is a coalition of groups working together to demand that the government immediately halt all future licensing and consents for the exploration, development and production of fossil fuels in the UK (Just Stop Oil)

A separate rally against the Jackdaw facility took place on Thursday outside the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy offices in Westminster.

On Wednesday, the energy secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, confirmed that Shell had been given the go-ahead for the field, which is situated in waters to the east of Aberdeen.

The energy giant said that, at its peak, Jackdaw “is expected to deliver 6.5 per cent of UKCS [UK Continental Shelf] gas production for less than 1 per cent of UKCS emissions and produce an amount of energy equivalent to heating more than 1.4 million UK homes”.

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