The environmental activist group said more than 60 people had been at the site in the City of London since 7am on Tuesday to prevent workers from entering and with the intention of closing the business for the day.
Extinction Rebellion (XR), which encourages supporters to cause disruption through non-violent civil disobedience, said it was demanding that Lloyd’s stops insuring fossil fuel projects.
Tory MPs have criticised Ben Goldsmith and called for his resignation as chair of the Conservative Environment Network (CEN) and a director at Defra after he voiced support for Extinction Rebellion.
The financier and environmentalist, who sits on Defra’s board, has apologised after criticising Labour’s strong stance against the Just Stop Oil protests, during which activists have blockaded fuel distribution terminals. He has said he has no plans to resign.
Anti-fossil fuel activists have vowed to continue blockading oil terminals until they are jailed, as they approached 1,000 arrests for their actions so far.
“Ministers have a choice: they can arrest and imprison Just Stop Oil supporters or agree to no new oil and gas,” Just Stop Oil said on Tuesday morning. “While Just Stop Oil supporters have their liberty the disruption will continue.”
Fuel-blockade activists were taking their first day off in 12 days on Tuesday, after beginning their campaign on 1 April. “We decided to give them a break,” a campaign spokesperson said. About 400 people have been arrested a total of 900 times for taking action so far, according to the campaign.
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”.