Greenpeace activists covered the house of British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in northern England on Thursday with “petroleum black” sheets. They were protesting against the “frenzy” of the Conservative government, which has promised new oil and gas licenses.
Greenpeace denounces North Sea oil expansion with spectacular action
A photo posted on Greenpeace’s social networks shows the imposing house covered in black sheets, with four people on the roof. Greenpeace explains that the “black oil” fabric serves to “highlight the dangerous consequences of a new drilling frenzy.” They spent several hours on the roof before descending mid-day, where police arrested them on the spot.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, on vacation in California, on Monday promised “hundreds” of new oil and gas exploration and production licenses in the North Sea. Far from seeing this as a contradiction, he assured us that it would help the country on its journey towards carbon neutrality, promised for 2050.
“We desperately need our Prime Minister to be a climate leader, not an arsonist,” reacted Philip Evans of Greenpeace UK.
Oliver Dowden, the Deputy Prime Minister who assumes the role of head of government during Mr. Sunak’s vacation, called the action a “stupid stunt”.
“We make no apologies for taking the right approach to ensuring our energy security, using the resources we have at home so that we are never reliant on aggressors like (Vladimir) Putin for our energy,” said a Downing Street source.
Controversy and anger in the UK following the announcement of new oil and gas licenses
Monday’s announcement of new oil and gas licenses caused an uproar in the UK, and was unanimously criticized by environmental associations. On Thursday, a group of a few dozen mothers also staged a demonstration outside Downing Street. They were protesting against the government’s environmental policy.
“I’m really, really angry that climate is such a huge issue and that Rishi Sunak is using it as a political game,” 37-year-old Lorna Powell, who took part in the protest, told AFP.
“I’m here for him (her baby) and for my daughter,” added Hayley Davidson, 38. “We want to see the government invest in clean energy.”