BREAKING: Extinction Rebellion infiltrates London HQ of oil giant Shell, glue on to reception desk

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  • Extinction Rebellion occupies London HQ of oil giant Shell
  • Protesters GLUE-ON to the reception desk and request a meeting with CEO Ben van Beurden
  • Whistleblowing campaign TruthTeller address staff by name, inviting them to turn insider and reveal what they know
  • Action follows appeal by UN Secretary General to the people of the world that they DEMAND an end to the fossil fuel economy
  • Infiltration comes on fifth day of disruption in central London

Extinction Rebellion has occupied the London Headquarters of oil giant Shell to demand a meeting with CEO Ben Van Beurden. 3 people have glued themselves to the reception desk and others are glued on in the entrances outside. Outside the building, members of XR’s whistleblowing platform TruthTeller used placards to invite named employers to share insider information about the company’s planet-damaging activities.

Just after 1.30pm, 3 people dressed as staff members gained entry to the building’s lobby, while others are glued on in the entrances. The livestream of the occupation can be viewed here: LIVE: Day 5 of the April Rebellion: Love in action – YouTube

Outside, one hundred people from XR’s whistleblowing platform TruthTeller each held up a placard with the name of an individual Shell employee and the words “Please Join Us”. Another group positioned a fireman’s trampoline below the office windows bearing the message: “Jump Ship”. 

A flyer handed out to Shell employees invited them to join Extinction Rebellion, while there’s still time. It invited staff to “switch to the right side of history, before Shell turns toxic on your CV”.  

TruthTeller’s flyer also invited staff to speak up and raise issues with corporate policy and behaviour with colleagues and management, post XR material on internal notice boards and common spaces, or anonymously share details about any of Shell’s climate damaging plans via the secure whistleblowing platform www.TruthTeller.Life.[1] 

XR also offered to fund a number of career coaching sessions for staff thinking of leaving Shell and moving to companies specialising in renewables. 

Zoe Blackler, coordinator of XR’s TruthTeller said: 

“As everyone knows, the fossil fuel industry’s social licence is fast expiring. In a few short years it will make the tobacco industry seem like an ethical choice. 

We’re here to help employees at Shell and all planet-damaging companies to either speak up internally, share insider information via www.TruthTeller.com or jump ship – before it’s too late.”

Today’s action follows an address to the world by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who said business leaders were failing to take the action necessary to avoid climate disaster:

‘Governments and business leaders are saying one thing and doing another. Simply put, they are lying. And the results will be catastrophic.’[2]

Shell is one such company saying one thing in public and doing another in private.

It claims to be transitioning away from fossil fuels and into renewables. And yet between 2018 and 2020, Shell invested over 90% of its capital in fossil fuels, and only 3-5% in renewable energy.[3] 

Shell has caused nearly 2 percent of all human-caused emissions.[4] That’s more emissions than most countries. It is still one of the top 25 emitters globally. In May last year, a court in the Hague court ordered Shell to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 45 percent over 2019 levels by 2030 – double its own targets. Shell has appealed.[5] 

In its current plan, Shell continues to invest in new oil and plans a 20% increase in gas production over coming decades. [6]

Last month, activist shareholders brought a lawsuit against 13 of Shell’s directors for failing to produce a strategy that would keep it aligned with the Paris Agreements target. [7]

In 2020, Shell made windfall profits of 19.3 billion dollars, up from 4.8 billion the year before but rather than reinvest in renewables, it spent that  on huge dividends for directors and share buybacks[8]].  It also made $6.4 billion in its fourth quarter profits on the back of higher oil and gas prices.[9] from the recent rise in gas prices that are causing a cost of living crisis for people across the country. The UK government gave Shell a £90 million tax rebate last year. 40% of Shell profits are hidden in tax havens.[10] 

In recent weeks, Shell has used the war in Ukraine to try to resurrect a project to drill in the Cambo oil field.[11] Energy companies including Shell are making ‘bonanza’ profits due to war in Ukraine, while the cost of living crisis is expected to leave millions in the UK unable to pay their bills, it has been revealed.[12]

Extinction Rebellion is calling on Shell’s directors to make a rapid and radical change of course.

Extinction Rebellion’s Tim Jones said: “The UN Secretary General has openly called out politicians and business leaders as liars. Shell is one of those liars. Rather than rapidly transitioning to renewables as it claims,  it is continuing to make unspeakable profits from oil and gas  – 19.3 billion dollars last year. 

“I am here to beg the employees of this company, who I am sure are good, caring people, to look at what they are doing, to look at this machine they are a part of, and consider what needs to change. Please, everybody, come with us: walk away from a company leading us to destruction. It’s not too late.”

Today’s action at Shell is part of Extinction Rebellion’s ongoing protests in Central London. Through mass protests, targeted actions and fuel depot blockades, XR, is demanding an immediate end to all new investment in fossil fuels.[13]

UN Secretary General has said that continuing to invest in fossil fuels is “moral and economic madness.” The International Energy Agency has also  said we need to immediately cease all new fossil fuel expansion.[14]

NOTES TO EDITORS

1.TruthTeller is XR’s whistleblowing project to help employees at planet-damaging companies anonymously disclose what they know. We’re seeking out potential whistleblowers within target industries and asking them to share insider information via our secure platform www.TruthTeller.Life 

TruthTeller is also a new type of precision activism.  As well as triggering leaks –  which we’ll publish safely and anonymously in collaboration with trusted news outlets –  we want to send a warning to any company guilty of greenwash or damage to the planet, that they’re at imminent risk of public exposure. TruthTeller is asking people to put their loyalty to their fellow humans and the future of the planet before their loyalty to their bosses. We want Whistleblowing for the Planet to be recognised as both a moral duty and a democratic right.

 2.Guterres was speaking at the launch last week of the IPCC’s most recent report. In his address, Guterres said we are ‘firmly on track towards an unlivable planet’ and called on the people of the world to demand a rapid transition out of fossil fuels https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaZRvli9fgQ

https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/statement/2022-04-04/secretary-generals-video-message-the-launch-of-the-third-ipcc-report-scroll-down-for-languages

[3] https://ieefa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Supermajors-Trajectory-Towards-Renewables-Needs-to-Scale-and-Speed-Up_July-2020.pdf

[4] https://foreignpolicy.com/2021/05/27/royal-dutch-shell-netherlands-hague-court-oil-fossil-fuels-climate-change/

[5] https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/jul/29/shell-raises-dividend-soaring-oil-prices

[6] https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/may/18/shell-faces-shareholder-rebellion-over-fossil-fuel-production

[7] https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/mar/15/shell-directors-sued-net-zero-clientearth

[8] https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/feb/03/surging-energy-prices-fuel-shells-highest-quarterly-profits-in-eight-years#:~:text=Shell’s%20profits%20for%202021%20overall,global%20squeeze%20on%20gas%20supplies.

[9] https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/shell-q4-profits-smash-forecasts-lifted-by-oil-gas-prices-2022-02-03/

[10] https://uk.news.yahoo.com/shell-gets-121m-tax-rebates-091656531.html

[11] https://www.independent.co.uk/business/shell-confirms-licence-extended-for-controversial-cambo-oil-field-b2047183.html

[12] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/mar/10/oil-and-gas-companies-are-looking-at-a-bonanza-from-the-ukraine-war

 [13] https://extinctionrebellion.uk/next-uk-rebellion/

[14] https://www.nbcnews.com/science/environment/energy-agency-end-new-fossil-fuel-supply-investments-rcna956

ABOUT EXTINCTION REBELLION

Time has almost entirely run out to address the ecological crisis which is upon us, including the 6th mass species extinction, global pollution, and increasingly rapid climate change. If urgent and radical action isn’t taken, we’re heading towards 4˚C warming, and the societal collapse and mass loss of life that that implies. The younger generation, racially marginalised communities and the Global South are on the front-line. No-one will escape the devastating impacts.

Extinction Rebellion believes it is a citizen’s duty to rebel, using peaceful civil disobedience, when faced with criminal inactivity by their Government.

Extinction Rebellion’s key demands are:

  1. Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
  2. Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
  3. Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

What Emergency? | Extinction Rebellion in Numbers |This Is Not A Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook 

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