‘Wreckers of the Earth’: 300 London-based companies destroying the planet

Corporate watch

The Wreckers Portal 2021

The earth is not dying, it is being killed, and those who are killing it have names and addresses.” Utah Phillips

Capitalism is burning up our planet, devastating ecosystems and communities in its ceaseless hunger for profit. Everything is for sale, and the one great goal is growth: producing and consuming ever more stuff, even as it kills us. This engine of mass destruction is driven by burning forests: the long-dead forests of fossil fuels, and the living forests of today. Though we all play our parts in the consumer system, some people play much bigger parts than others. The people killing the earth are those directing the machine – and crushing any resistance to it.

Our Wreckers of the Earth project has two aims:

  • to identify and map 300 of the main planet-killing companies, banks, investment funds and institutions, with their bases in London;
  • and to help show how they work together as a coordinated system of power and profit.

London: a global hub of ecocidal capitalism

London is home to fossil fuel giants and to many of the worst mining polluters. It is the world’s second-largest financial centre (after New York). It is the key financial marketplace for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and for trading oil, metals, minerals and other “commodities” sucked out of the earth. Lax regulation and tight security make London a money-laundering haven for the world’s tyrants, oligarchs, and billionaires. The legacy of the British empire still lives in the infrastructure and services London offers: insurance markets, law firms, arms dealers, PR agencies, down to prestige shopping and investment property.

NB: all the information here was updated and checked in September 2021.

How can I access the information?

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Rapid cuts to methane leaks at oil and gas sites needed to meet climate targets – IEA.

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Cutting methane emissions from oil and gas sites is vital to limiting global warming to 1.5C, the International Energy Agency said today.

In its annual World Energy Outlook, the IEA said this measure could close 15% of the gap between what was needed to limit temperature rise and today’s pledges by world governments.

The flagship report – designed as a guidebook for world leaders at next month’s climate talks in Glasgow – said there would need to be cuts in 2030 of almost 90 million tonnes of methane emissions from fossil fuel operations to keep the world on track for net zero by 2050.

“Rapid reductions in methane emissions are a key tool to limit near-term global warming, and the most cost-effective abatement opportunities are in the energy sector, particularly in oil and gas operations.

“Methane abatement is not addressed quickly or effectively enough by simply reducing fossil fuel use; concerted efforts from governments and industry are vital to secure the emissions cuts that close nearly 15% of the gap to the NZE [Net Zero Emissions by 2050 scenario].”

Today’s report also said the use of oil would have to fall sharply to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

For the first time in a World Energy Outlook, the IEA predicted an eventual decline in oil demand. If all today’s announced climate pledges were met, the world would still be consuming 75 million oil barrels per day by 2050 – down from around 100 million today. But to meet net zero emissions by 2050, the use of oil would need to plummet to 25 million.

The IEA said there had been “a large rebound” in oil and coal use in 2021. Largely for this reason, 2021 was also seeing the second-largest annual increase in carbon dioxide emissions in history.

The IEA’s executive director, Fatih Birol, said:

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Government urged to withdraw from legal case in support of Surrey oil production — DRILL OR DROP?

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Photo: Weald Action Group

The UK government is being urged today to withdraw from a legal challenge about the climate impacts of oil production in Surrey. Horse Hill oil site in Surrey.

Campaigners have argued that the government cannot claim to be a world leader on tackling climate change while also backing fossil fuel extraction projects in the courts.

The newly-named Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), is opposing a case brought by Surrey campaigner, Sarah Finch, to be heard at the appeal court next month (November 2021).

The case centres on the granting of planning permission by Surrey County Council for 20 years of gas production and expansion of the Horse Hill oil site.

The DLUHC confirmed this morning that the secretary of state, Michael Gove, has recused himself from involvement in the case because his constituency is near Horse Hill. But a spokesperson said the department remained an interested party.

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Red and Black Telly roundup.











UK oil production increased since declaring climate emergency – new report

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A new report published today shows that the UK has increased its oil and gas production since declaring a climate emergency in 2019.

Rathlin Energy’s West Newton A site, 24 January 2019. Photo: Eddie Thornton

New fields totalling an extra 800 million barrels of oil have been brought into production in the last two years, according to the report by Friends of the Earth Scotland and Oil Change International.

The extra oil will create climate pollution equivalent to running Longannet, Scotland’s last coal power station, for more than 35 years, the organisations said.

The report comes just weeks before the UK hosts crucial COP26 international climate talks in Glasgow and decisions are due on new onshore and offshore oil fields.

It calls on the UK and Scottish governments to stop all new oil and gas field developments, end financial support for the fossil fuel industry and redirect investment and policy support to renewable energy.

There are 6.5 billion barrels of oil in UK fields that are currently producing or in development, the report said. Another 13.5 billion barrels is in fields earmarked for future development.

But the authors said there could not be new oil and gas developments in the UK if we are to meet our commitment to the Paris climate agreement goal of limiting dangerous warming to 1.5C.

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Red and Black Telly roundup.







Wessex stall at Increase The Peace Community Festival, Sunday 29th August.

Wessex Solidarity will have a literature stall at Increase The Peace Community Festival in Bournemouth this Sunday. Our first outing for a while with lots of new pamphlets. Freedom Press are there also.

At Oakmedian club house, Meyric Park, Bournemouth BH2 6LJ

Free Entry from 1 p.m. till midnight, with Live music, food and other attractions.

Supporting International Care Network and Hope For Food.

facebook event

The “energy revolution” that has produced no gas

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The licensing of thousands of square miles of English countryside for fracking five years ago has resulted in no wells and no oil or gas.

14th round licences offered in central and northern England. Source: Oil & Gas Authority

Areas from the Isle of Wight and Dorset to the North York Moors were allocated to exploration companies in what was described at the time as the “start of a shale gas revolution”.

By today, under the terms of the new licences, the operators should have drilled nearly 100 wells and fracked more than 10% of them.

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Radioactive waste disposal allowed to continue at oil site in national park.

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An oil company has won consent to continue the disposal of liquid radioactive waste in the South Downs National Park. IGas Singleton oil site in West Sussex. Photo: IGas Opponents of the industry have criticised the decision, which will allow fluid from oil production to be injected into a borehole at IGas’s Singleton site, nearChichester, in West Sussex. Philip Maber, who lives near the site, said:

“This operation seriously threatens our chalk aquifer with forever contamination and is also the biggest single source of carbon-based emissions in West Sussex. “I feel guilty and frustrated at how little our community and country understand the urgency for change.”

The consent, granted by the Environment Agency (EA), allows IGas to inject up to 80m3 per day (more than 17,500 imperial gallons). If IGas injected the maximum every day, there would be enough liquid to fill an Olympic swimming pool in about a month. The campaign network, the Weald Action Group, said today:

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“We did what we had to do”-Subcomandante Moisés reflects on the EZLN uprising

Voices in Movement

On the 27th anniversary of the EZLN’s rebellion, Subcomandante Moisés stated: “We did what we had to do”. This is a conversation with the current Zapatista spokesperson who held the rank of major back on January 1st, 1994. We talk about the orgins of the uprising by the indigenous rebels.

Written & photo by Diego Enrique Osorno in Milenio. Translated by Shantal Montserrat Lopez Victoria

-To understand 94, we have to go back, could you tell us about the years prior to the uprising?

-Yes, 1983 was the year when some of our members arrived to the mountains of the Mexican southeast and began to recruit comrades which is why the membership of the organization grew. Then from ‘83 to ‘93 was the period of recruitment in the villages, the ‘underground period’.

The comrades began to look for people one by one but then we changed our recruitment methods because the people, the indigenous communities, have a certain way of meeting people in groups, collectively. And this is how we recruited those with moral authority. And yes, from that point on we continued to organize ourselves with towns and other areas. A region can be made up of lots small towns and communities. Some regions are made up of 20 communities or 30 communities, which is what we call a region.

As our political influence grew in these towns and regions, we made military preparations. We organized the compañeros and compañeras, until the day came when it was decided: It is time for us to head out.

-How did the arrival of members from the city affect the organization in the towns during that time?

-Small communities began to see things differently because they (members from the city) organized in a different way. What I want to say is that with the arrival of the EZLN, women began to have an important role, where before they weren’t even considered. Although there were some organizations (with women), they weren’t really taken seriously. That’s what changed during that time, there was more organization and respect for women.

-On January 1st, 1994, you were a major, not yet a Subcomandante. What was it like to experience the preparations for that day?

– ​We all arrived, insurgents and troops, we all got ready. Before I became a major I was Insurgent Moisés. We had trained in the mountains and helped our fellow comrades prepare; It was there that the troops had to take exams to become a commander. Starting from second lieutenant, lieutenant, then second captain, first captain, then major and so on. So, yes, the rank I had when we left on January 1st, 1994 was major, as is publicly known. We received training and on top of that, other special trainings courses, because we also had to go out into the city. The mountains are very different than the city. I had to be with my commander, Subcomandante Insurgente Pedro, who was teaching, preparing and training me.

And yes, there were a lot of the things he taught and explained to us before 1994 that I had to learn. He prepared me for times just like today with you, where we have to explain who we are, and talk to the people of Mexico; the teachers, the students, the workers and others.

-What other advice did Subcomandante Pedro give you during that training period?

-He would also say that we have to be prepared, because we do not know who will die, and he was right. We used to be underground but today we have organized ourselves with our comrades, for example with the National Indigenous Congress. We’re now openly working with the people. What happened in the past, is the past, as he would say. When we left at dawn in 1994, I had to do my part. He told me no matter happened I had to continue and take responsibility for my actions. Of course, I understood what he told me from the beginning: that whatever happens we have to continue fighting and here we are, still fighting.

-What was January 1st, 1994 like for you?

-Well, it was my duty to take over the Town Hall of Ocosingo along with Subcomandante Insurgente Pedro. He was in front of the town hall and I was off to the side, where the police were set up. Then we got separated, but we had said that we would be in communication when we were ready to head into the town hall.

I was waiting for his order, but it never came so I sent him a message to find out what was going on. I waited for a long time, but then I received a message that Sub Pedro had fallen in combat. So from then on, I had to take command and decide what we were going to do. The first thing we did was to check on our comrade Subcomandante Insurgente Pedro, so I took him outside, lifted his head, talked to him to see if he was still alive, but nothing. We got him out of there and took his body to a Zapatista community.

So then, we had to continue, we had to move forward. And that’s what I was organizing, because we had to go to another city, which was Comitán, and that’s what I was getting ready for. But then we received the order from Subcomandante Marcos that we had to retreat, and we had to retreat because that was the order. And that was that.