The £20 million proposal, put forward by Green Party members at City Hall, attracted support from the Assembly’s Liberal Democrat and Conservative groups – meaning a majority of Assembly Members (AMs) were behind it.
It was voted down by the Labour group however, preventing it from achieving the required two thirds of support among AMs.
London mayor Sadiq Khan said he would instead be willing to put funding aside for a feasibility study to explore the concept.
Two young supporters of Just Stop Oil, a one year old campaign demanding that the government stops granting licences for new fossil fuel projects, delivered an ultimatum letter to 10 Downing Street this morning.
Hannah Hunt, 23, from Brighton announcing the delivery of the letter, made a brief speech to assembled reporters. She said:
“A year on from delivering Just Stop Oil’s Saint Valentine’s Day letter, along with hundreds of others, I face multiple trials and the loss of my freedom because we refused to stand by while our government planned the destruction of everything we love.
“We may not succeed, and we may yet bequeath a poisoned bleak inheritance – but I make this promise to those I love: for the government to win, it will have to defeat the youth of this country for we will put our bodies on the line.
“Now I am asking you to pick a side, to join me, to stand with those future generations and with all the ordinary people willing to sacrifice their freedom to protect our future. We must stop the harm that is new oil and gas.”
Phoebe Plummer, 21, from London read out the contents of the letter to the Prime Minister. It points out that according to the International Energy Agency in order to have an even chance of limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5°C in line with the Paris Agreement, there can be no new investments in fossil fuel supply projects.  She said:
“One year ago our letter stressed that the government, of which you were a part, knew that breaching 1.5˚C could be the death sentence for our children and for whole countries and regions of the world.
“Since then, we have been warned by the United Nations that not only will we hurtle over 1.5˚C but also that there is “no credible pathway to 1.5˚C in place”.
“Accelerating the granting of North Sea oil and gas licences … is to knowingly plan for the death of countless millions, for the loss of entire nation states. It is an act of genocide, for which you will be held accountable.”
She went on to deliver the following ultimatum:
“Just Stop Oil is demanding that: The UK government makes a statement that it will immediately halt all future licensing and consents for the exploration, development and production of fossil fuels in the UK.
“If you do not provide such assurance by 10th April 2023, we will be forced to escalate our campaign – to prevent the ultimate crime against our country, humanity and life on earth..”
Just Stop Oil have disrupted traffic on key routes in London today to demand that the government halts all new fossil fuel licences and consents and reverses last week’s disastrous decision to permit a new coal mine in Cumbria.
Just Stop Oil activists wearing hi-vis vests disrupted traffic at Green Lanes, Finsbury Park and proceeded to march slowly northwards accompanied by around 7 police officers at 8am this morning.
Sheila Shatford, 67, grandmother of two and former nurse from Bristol, who has already spent 13 days in prison for taking action with Just Stop Oil, said:
“As a baby boomer I have a responsibility and a need to stand beside all the brave young people who are prepared to put their careers and freedom on the line in order to stop the wanton destruction of their future and the misery and suffering happening right now as a result of climate breakdown.
“Shame on you Mr Sunak, for allowing your government to support oil and gas expansion, shame on you for allowing a new coal mine that nobody wants or needs. Shame on you for demonising peaceful people. You can ban us, revile us, lock us up but you won’t stop us. We will not be complicit in the destruction of everything we hold dear.”
Peter Smith, 30, from Harringey, London said:
“The stark reality is terrifying. If we continue down the road we are currently on we don’t have a future. We face starvation and misery and the loss of all we hold dear. Normal people need to take a stand and support Just Stop Oil in stopping new fossil fuel licences and moving towards a sustainable future.”
Ludi Simpson, 69, a retired planner from Shipley, Yorkshire said:
“The UN general secretary says that spending on new fossil fuel exploration is delusional. Our government is doing just that and I fear for my children’s future. My action is from the heart and the head. I know politicians can do the right thing if they listen to the facts. Their inaction is burning up our lives. I want us all to have lives we can be proud of. Is it too much to ask for a safe future? Governments must end the greed of oil companies which is immoral and killing us.”
Just Stop Oil supporters have stopped traffic on key routes in Central London today to demand that the government halts all new oil and gas licences and consents.
At 8:00am, around 15 Just Stop Oil supporters wearing hi-vis vests walked onto the road at Bricklayers Arms roundabout in South London and proceeded to march slowly along the Old Kent Road, causing delays to rush hour traffic. The march continued through South London, followed by at least 3 police vehicles and up to 10 police officers.
A further march followed at Bank junction in the City.
Sam Griffiths, 47, a Dad and designer from London said:
“I feel sick seeing how little is happening to address climate breakdown, the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced. And our Government is actively making things worse. Granting over 100 new oil licences is indefensible and goes against everything that science says we need to do.
“I started actively supporting Just Stop Oil after we had 40°C in the UK for the first time in recorded history. It scared the shit out of me. I looked at my boy and realised I couldn’t just continue to do nothing.
“I’m sick of the weasel words of our politicians. Fake crying at COP then getting back home to sign more oil deals. It’s disgusting and will kill everything we love… if we let it happen. I’m no longer prepared to just stand by and watch.”
Margaret Reid, 51, a former museum professional from Kendal who recently spent 7 weeks in prison for taking action with Just Stop Oil said:
“We are in a climate emergency right now. We no longer have the luxury of delay and indecision – that time is over. Against all humanity, morality and basic common sense, the government and the fossil fuel industry are taking actions that will continue to destroy us. They’ve been doing it for decades. So now, here, in 2022, we have to stand up for our own futures – and we have to take our own immediate action to stop them.
“The climate crisis will affect all of us and it will destroy all our futures so, like it or not we’re all in this together. We need to act right now, to act decisively and to act together. We have so little time left, I am willing to try anything that might work.”
Just Stop Oil have restarted protesting in London today with protests at Shepherd’s Bush in West London and Aldwych / The Strand in central London this morning. Just Stop Oil: “Just Stop Oil is a coalition of groups working together to ensure that the government commits to ending all new licenses and consents for the exploration, development and production of fossil fuels in the UK.”
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!
Just Stop Oil say “From November 28th, Just Stop Oil will bring disruption back into London by marching, temporarily blocking and holding inner city roundabouts. Disruption will continue over three weeks with both arrestable and non-arrestable roles needed to send our message loud and clear this winter.”
But two people from Afghanistan told the Guardian that they were brought to London without having a clear idea of where they could stay. They describe scenes of rushed confusion as staff ushered them on to buses at the holding centre, before they were abandoned at Victoria railway station.
A young asylum seeker from Afghanistan was among the group of 11 people left on the street outside Victoria station on Tuesday evening. He said he had told Home Office staff during an interview before leaving the camp that he had no relatives or acquaintances in the UK.
“They asked me if I had any friends or family and I replied I had no one in England,” he said. Later he was asked by officials what city he would like to go to, and he said he would like to go to London, assuming that accommodation would be provided for him.
The young man, who asked not to be named, said he asked the bus driver where he should go as they arrived at Victoria station. “I thought there was going to be a hotel for us. He said: ‘Go anywhere you want to go, it’s not my responsibility.’ I told the driver I don’t have any address or any relatives. He said: ‘I can’t do anything for you.’”
Just Stop Oil, XR’s latest successor movement, has vowed to block central London roads every day this October. Friday was their 14th consecutive day, and they stepped up tactics once again, with two young women throwing paint over Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers painting in the National Gallery, a polarising action that left many aghast. Another action involved spraying the revolving sign at New Scotland Yard, the Metropolitan police headquarters.
Their demand is simple: that the government agree to a moratorium on all new oil and gas projects, in line with a recommendation by the International Energy Agency.
With the government having announced a new round of licensing only last week, their prospects of success seem bleak, but activists remained committed. “The burning of fossil fuels is killing people right now,” Kat, a children’s mental health nurse said as she sat blocking St George’s Circus.
“It’s fuelling the cost of living crisis, and it’s driving temperatures higher and higher. So I will not stand by and watch this government commit crimes against humanity by continuing to invest in the fossil fuel industry. That is morally wrong.
“So I’m sitting here peacefully and non-violently in the road, and our demand is: no new oil and gas.”
Climate activists Extinction Rebellion burned energy bills outside Downing Street on Friday as Liz Truss sacked her chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, and replaced him with Jeremy Hunt.
“We’re here to apply for the job of Chancellor,” the group tweeted, as streams of their supporters marched through the streets. “We need action on the climate and cost of living crisis now.”
“The anti-growth coalition have arrived at Downing Street,” the climate activists said, adopting Ms Truss’ description of Extinction Rebellion among others during her speech at the Conservative party conference in Birmingham this month.
Extinction Rebellion is holding a weekend of resistance in London from Friday until Sunday in an attempt to grow numbers and build momentum towards 100 thousands people on the streets in spring next year.