Jun 02, 2022
Climate activists in the U.K. announced emergency protests in London and Edinburgh for Thursday in response to the government's regulatory approval of Shell's new Jackdaw gas drilling project in the North Sea.
"Approving Jackdaw was a desperate and destructive move from [Prime Minister] Boris Johnson's government," said Greenpeace U.K., declaring its intention to "fight back and stop" the gasfield including through possible legal action.
Greenpeace was among the groups expressing outrage after Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said Wednesday that Jackdaw received final regulatory approval.
\u201cAbsolutely appalling decision with dire consequences! \n\nBut we won't let it go ahead. We will #StopJackdaw. Until We Win! \n\nMassive rallies already planned tomorrow:\n\ud83d\udccdLondon @ BEIS\n\ud83d\udccdEdinburgh @ Queen Elizabeth House\n\nTAKE ACTION NOW: https://t.co/C1bFjMmmmH\u201d— Tipping Point UK (@Tipping Point UK) 1654104533
The large project, initially rejected by regulators, could produce 6.5% of Britain's gas output, according to Shell, which said it plans to start production on the field in the second half of 2025.
"We're turbocharging renewables and nuclear, but we are also realistic about our energy needs now," Kwarteng tweeted. "Let's source more of the gas we need from British waters to protect energy security."
Green groups swiftly batted down the energy secretary's statements as both a flawed approach to helping Britons deal with high fuel prices and a decision that flies in the face of climate science.
"It's atrocious," said the StopCambo campaign, "that even though the science is clear that we can't have new oil and gas projects, they're giving the green light to yet another climate wrecking project. But it's not over."
Organizers with the campaign announced a 6:00 pm rally Thursday outside the Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial strategy in London to reject not only the Jackdaw project but all new fossil fuel infrastructure.
"A liveable planet is incompatible with new oil and gas projects. Full stop," the event description reads.
The regulatory approval "is a betrayal of millions of families struggling to pay skyrocketing energy bills who need help right now," it continues. "We need insulated homes, cheaper bills, and quicker and greener energy solutions that don't destroy our planet!"
Friends of the Earth Scotland organized an afternoon protest outside the U.K. government building in Edinburgh and urged regulators to urgently reverse the approval.
Mary Church, head of campaigns at Friends of the Earth Scotland, accused the U.K. government of "pouring fuel on the fire of the social and climate crises by deepening our reliance on fossil fuels."
"Approving the Jackdaw field will do nothing to help people who face higher bills in the U.K. or to tackle the climate crisis," Church added. "The only people who benefit are executives and shareholders at Shell who are hellbent on destroying the planet for their own profit."
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