Three Greenpeace campaigners halted a British Petroleum oil rig off the coast of Scotland on Sunday as it prepared to leave for the North Sea to drill oil wells.
Carrying enough provisions to last several days aboard the rig, the climate action advocates pulled up to the 27,000-ton vessel in small boats as it attempted to leave Cromarty Firth, bound for the Vorlich oil field where BP plans to access up to 30 million barrels of oil.
The campaigners unfurled a banner reading "Climate Emergency" after climbing the rig.
BREAKING: Two activists are blocking a @BP_plc oil rig from setting out to the North Sea where it intends to drill for 30 million barrels of oil. We're in a #ClimateEmergency - the age of oil is over. RT to show your support! #NoMoreOil
— Greenpeace UK (@GreenpeaceUK) June 9, 2019
Despite recent studies from the world's top climate scientists warning that governments must transition to renewable energy sources and end their dependence on fossil fuels to stem the effects of the climate crisis, the U.K.'s Oil and Gas Authority last week awarded 37 license areas to 30 companies.
"The approval threatens to result in scores of new projects at exactly the time we need to halt the growth of new oil and gas production," said Greenpeace.
The new licenses suggest that the country is not following its recent declaration of a climate emergency with concrete action, as campaigners have demanded.
"The government may be bent on draining the North Sea of every last drop of oil but this clearly contradicts their climate commitments," said one of the activists who boarded the rig, who was identified as Jo.
"The perverse idea we must maximize our oil and gas reserves cannot continue," she added. "That means the government must seriously reform the Oil and Gas Authority and instead invest heavily in the crucial work of helping oil communities like those in Scotland move from fossil fuels to the industries that will power our low carbon future."