Major energy firms including BP BP.L, Chevron CVX.N and Saudi Aramco 2222.SE are among the 1,500 business leaders gathering for the annual meeting in the Swiss resort of Davos, where global threats including climate change are on the agenda.
“We are demanding concrete and real climate action,” said Nicolas Siegrist, the 26-year-old organiser of the protest who also heads the Young Socialists party in Switzerland.
The annual meeting of global business and political leaders opens in Davos on Monday.
From 11am on Monday November 21st, Extinction Rebellion and other aligned groups took nonviolent action at thirteen sites across central London, targeting the offices of companies and organisations which have links to the fossil fuel industry. The groups sent a universal message that it’s time to ‘cut the ties’ with fossil fuels.
Actions took place at BP, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, BAE Systems, Church House, Ineos, Eversheds Sutherland, Schlumberger, the International Maritime Organisation, the Institute of Economic Affairs, JP Morgan, Arch Insurance, the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
The actions follow the conclusion of COP27 in Egypt, which was widely criticised for the heavy presence of representatives of oil and gas companies. Hill+Knowlton Strategies, one of the companies targeted today, has worked for fossil fuel companies ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron and Saudi Aramco and recently managed communications for Egypt’s presidency of the UN climate conference at Sharm El Sheikh.
Extinction Rebellion spokesperson, Sarah Hart, said:“Behind incomprehensible government decisions to double down on fossil fuel development, sign off new oil exploration licenses and allow the big energy companies to rake in record profits, lies a network of companies and organisations that are profiting from this destructive path.
“While the rest of us worry about the cost of turning the heating on our government is prioritising the profits of the very companies that are jeopardising our climate and environment. But everyday people are way ahead of politicians. They want to be able to heat their homes and they want a future for their children.
“So today, Extinction Rebellion are sending the message that it’s time to cut the ties with fossil fuels or lose the social license to operate in the UK.”
DETAILS OF THE ACTIONS:
XR Cymru at Hill+Knowlton Strategies offices, Clerkenwell Green XR Cymru splattered fake oil over the offices of public relations consultancy Hill+Knowlton Strategies. Hill+Knowlton has worked for fossil fuel companies ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron and Saudi Aramco and recently managed communications for Egypt’s presidency of the UN climate conference at Sharm El Sheikh.
Writers Rebel at the Institute of Economic Affairs, Lord North Street Writers Rebel poured fake oil on the front steps of free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs. The institute, located just meters from the Houses of Parliament, has received money from fossil fuel companies, regularly publishes materials questioning the consensus on climate science and has huge influence on politicians.
Doctors for XR at JP Morgan, Victoria Embankment Doctors for XR glued themselves to the windows at the London HQ of JP Morgan and pasted images to the front facade of the building depicting scenes of climate breakdown both here in the UK and overseas. JP Morgan are the world’s biggest fossil fuel financiers.
Christian Climate Action at BAE Systems offices, Carlton Gardens Christian Climate Action left handprints of fake blood and oil on the offices of Britain’s leading arms manufacturer BAE Systems. BAE Systems supply weaponry to conflicts which increase the vulnerability of people living on the front lines of climate change. The arms giant also provides military and technical support to Saudia Arabia, enabling the regime’s oil production.
Christian Climate Action at Church House, Great Smith Street Christian Climate Action also took action outside Church House in Westminster to highlight the Church of England’s failing strategy to stay invested in fossil fuels and influence the industry as shareholders.
A spokesperson for Christian Climate Action, said: “The Church should be showing moral leadership in rejecting profiting from investments in companies that continue to fuel climate suffering.”
Plastics Rebellion at Ineos offices, Hans Crescent Plastics Rebellion sprayed fake oil outside the offices of Ineos, one of the world’s largest petrochemical producers and a significant player in the oil and gas market. Many of the plastics produced in the UK start their life at the INEOS Grangemouth refinery.
HS2 Rebellion at Eversheds Sutherland, Wood Street HS2 Rebellion sprayed the offices of multinational law firm Eversheds Sutherland with fake oil. As solicitors for HS2 and Esso, Eversheds Sutherland have been forerunners in criminalising nonviolent environmental protest through the use of injunctions.
XR East of England and XR Youth at Schlumberger offices in London, Buckingham Gate XR East of England and XR Youth poured fake oil over a globe at the offices of the world’s largest oilfields services provider Schlumberger to expose their complicity in ecocide. As the world’s largest oilfield services provider, Schlumberger enable fossil fuel extraction, operating in 120 countries around the world, with over 36,000 patents dedicated to extracting every last drop of oil and gas from the ground.
Ocean Rebellion at the International Maritime Organisation, Albert Embankment Ocean Rebellion held protests outside the offices of the International Maritime Organisation where performances illustrated the UN shipping body’s refusal to regulate shipping emissions. A heavy plume of smog filled the air and an oil slick appeared on the ground with dead birds caught in it.
Money Rebellion at Arch Insurance, Great Tower Street Money Rebellion poured fake oil at the offices of Arch Insurance. Arch Insurance are understood to be in negotiations with fossil fuel giant Total regarding the insurance of the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), a project that will jeopardise important ecosystems, fuel climate change and pose significant risks to millions of people. Money Rebellion is there to say ‘Arch must rule out EACOP’.
Sky Rebellion at Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan, Portman Square Sky Rebellion poured fake oil in front of the London offices of Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan. The Canadian based pension fund invests in infrastructure projects including the controversial expansion of Bristol Airport which it owns.
XR South East at BP HQ, St James’ Square XR South East used fire extinguishers to spray fake on oil BP headquarters in central London.
A spokesperson for XR South East, said: “The addiction to fossil fuels must end. The huge fossil fuel corporations like BP and those who aid and abet them KNOW what we face. BP hides the dirty secrets that lie behind its latest big profit of £7,100,000,000. Enough is enough. Today we are exposing the ties between the collaborators and we will piece together the web of lies with our actions.”
XR South West at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Victoria Street XR South West sprayed fake oil on the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to protest against its plans to issue more than 100 new licences for exploration and extraction of oil and gas in the North Sea – meaning renewed and accelerating extraction way beyond 2030 and way beyond the UK’s Paris Agreement commitments.
XR Rhythms (marching between the locations listed above) In June, London endorsed the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, so XR Rhythms is marching through London to highlight the web of fossil fuel enablers still working in our city. We want to drum out fossil fuel investments and celebrate the future transition to a more sustainable economy!
Over images typical of fossil fuel company ads that have been accused of “greenwashing” their practices, a new viral video explains that oil giant Chevron is “actively murdering” people across the globe as it continues to extract fossil fuels despite warnings from climate and energy experts alike.
“We at Chevron believe there is nothing more precious than life,” the voiceover says over footage of a newborn baby and mother. “And the most precious life of all is the dead kind, that has been compressed for hundreds of millions of years under massive rocks until it magically becomes oil.”
The parody ad, which was released Thursday, goes on to show a wind power farm, a child’s birthday party, marine life, and a picturesque image of an oil rig at sunset as the narration explains that the oil it refines and sells as gasoline makes it possible for “a cool-ass tank” to “crush a clay hut” and an airplane to “take a businessman 3,000 miles to have dinner with someone, or whatever, all the while releasing greenhouse gases that are transforming the planet right this second.”
While the images displayed continue to show an idealized image of families, pets, and nature, viewers are assured that “we at Chevron straight-up don’t give a single fuck about you, your weird children, or your stupid, ratty-ass dog.”
The company also has “billions and billions of dollars,” the narrator says, “to pay for this commercial time, this cheesy footage, and this bullshit music, all so you’ll be lulled into a catatonic state that makes you forget one singular fact: Chevron is actively murdering you every day.”
The fake ad was released weeks after the U.K.-based group InfluenceMap revealed that the five largest fossil fuel companies—Chevron, BP, ExxonMobil, Shell, and TotalEnergies—spend a cumulative $750 million per year on public relations campaigns to make the corporations seem committed to climate action, while spending just 12% of their capital expenditures on low-carbon activities.
The parody, which was produced by film director Adam McKay, amounted to a “surprisingly honest” advertisement for Chevron, said the Climate Ad Project.
“Normally I’m anti-fossil fuel advertising, but this one should be watched by everyone on the planet,” said Jamie Henn, director of Fossil Free Media, which supports the movement to end fossil fuels by pushing back against industry propaganda.
Along with the video, McKay, who directed the climate crisis-themed satire Don’t Look Up last year, posted several doctored images of news coverage of Hurricane Ian, which killed at least 21 people when it devastated parts of Florida this week.
The images showed news outlets labeling the storm Hurricane Chevron, Hurricane Exxon, and Hurricane Shell, referring to scientists’ warnings that the continued extraction of fossil fuel is intensifying extreme weather events.
Republished. Common Dreams‘ work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
Barack Obama has called on world leaders to “step up and step up now” to avert climate breakdown, singling out China and Russia for being foremost among countries that are failing to cut planet-heating emissions quickly enough.
Obama said that while progress has been made at the Glasgow climate talks, including significant pledges made by countries to reduce methane emissions and to end deforestation, “we are nowhere near where we need to be at” in cutting emissions and that “most nations have failed to be as ambitious as they need to be”.
HSBC coordinated efforts to try and water down action on climate change in the banking sector by seeking to delay a key deadline and scrap mandatory science-based targets for a major net-zero alliance, the Bureau can reveal.
Nearly 1,000 representatives from the fossil fuel industry, big business and nuclear power companies have registered to attend the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, according to an analysis by The Ferret.
They include executives from Shell, BP, Equinor, Chevron, Total, Gazprom and other major oil and gas companies, as well as multinational corporations such as McDonald’s, Bayer, Walmart, HSBC, PepsiCo, Nestlé and Microsoft.
There are also delegations from the coal industry, tobacco companies and pesticide manufacturers. Eleven people from two climate sceptic think-tanks have registered for the summit.
‘As long as we have a Government dominated by vested interests, the UK will make no progress on climate action.’
Wera Hobhouse is the Liberal Democrats’ justice spokesperson and MP for Bath.
To reach net zero, we need an end date for the use of fossil fuels. Yet, the Government is taking us backwards on tackling climate change. Any wonder when they are bankrolled by fossil fuel interests and climate sceptics? As long as we have a Government dominated by vested interests, the UK will make no progress on climate action.
Earlier this week, an investigation revealed that the Conservative party and its MPs received £1.3m in gifts and donations from climate sceptics and fossil fuel interests since the election in 2019.