Extinction Rebellion is continuing its protests this week with bridge blockades, mass outreach and targeted actions, such as today’s shut down of financial institution Lloyd’s of London. The movement is also supporting disruption at oil facilities with the Just Stop Oil coalition.
As petrol pumps around the country begin to run dry, the government has a choice: continue destroying life on Earth by doubling down on oil and gas and supporting corporate interest over people’s lives, or honour the UK’s Paris commitments and change course.
In short, put an end to all new fossil fuel investments immediately.
Extinction Rebellion is told time and again to stop disrupting ordinary people and target the bad guys instead. But it turns out when we disrupt carbon people feel it, as almost everything we do economically relates to – or relies on – oil and gas. We recognise these protests are hitting people now, but as the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres said, we are “on track for an unlivable future” by continuing to invest in fossil fuels. The disruption coming will be far greater and beyond our control unless this stops now.
We are out of time – weather patterns are already destabilised and climate related deaths occurred on almost every continent in 2021. Our current political system is incapable of acting with the speed and integrity needed in this moment of crisis. Life as we know it is going to change, whether or not we choose to act on the climate crisis, and whether or not we like it. The UK government’s refusal to admit this is shameful dishonesty. In the words of its own Environment Agency, we must “adapt or die”.
Polling shows the UK general public wants urgent action on climate, but we are being lied to by a government in the pocket of big oil while energy companies get tax breaks and make huge profits off war in Ukraine. The climate emergency helps us see everything is interconnected and whether it’s Covid, war in Ukraine or the cost of living crisis, we can’t wait for a better time to tackle this because there won’t be one.
Which is why Extinction Rebellion will continue to join the dots through our actions. Disruption is the only power ordinary people have left to change things, to break the law to stop a greater crime taking place.
The plan is simple: We will continue to cause disruption until the government agrees to do what the IPCC, the International Energy Agency, the United Nations, its own Committee on Climate Change, and scientists everywhere are saying we absolutely must do now: to end all new fossil fuel investments immediately.
If the government agrees to this first basic step to address the climate crisis, we will go home.
When governments choose betrayal, people will choose resistance. As long as the government continues to choose to destroy the future of humanity, good people will choose to stop them. We all have a choice. That is theirs, and this is ours.
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