DRILL OR DROP?

More than 100 climate campaigners have taken part in a mass trespass at Aberdeen’s Torry harbour in opposition to plans by the fossil fuel industry to build on a park.

Climate protest in Aberdeen harbour, 31 July 2022. Photo: Climate Camp Scotland

The action (Sunday 31 July) was part of a five-day climate camp calling for a transition away from fossil fuels, led by workers and the local community.

The activists have argued that St Fittick’s Park is threatened by a proposed energy transition zone, promoted by the oil and gas executive, Ian Wood.

They carried banners with slogans including Hauns Affa Torry and No Future in Fossil Fuels, describing the plans as “a corporate landgrab”. The scheme would, they said, industrialise the last accessible green space in the Torry neighbourhood.

The developers behind the energy transition zone have said it would become “a focal point and catalyst for high-value manufacturing, research, development, testing and deployment”.

During the weekend’s camp, activists have urged the UK government to cancel plans for new oil and gas developments, such as Shell’s Jackdaw fields.

They also called on Aberdeenshire Council to refuse permission for a new gas fired power station at Peterhead. And they asked the Scottish government to ensure communities and workers had a greater say in how money from the Just Transition Fund was spent in the region.

Richard Caie, a spokesperson for Friends of St Fittick’s Park said:

“We are very grateful to Climate Camp Scotland for helping to highlight the very unjust way the “energy transition” is being managed in North East Scotland and for their support for our campaign to save St Fittick’s Park”.

Jessica Gaitan Johannesson, a spokesperson for Climate Camp Scotland, said:

“As an increasing number of people experience the dire reality of climate collapse, and soaring energy prices victimise the most vulnerable, we need to remember that fossil fuel companies do not work for us. The proposed Energy Transition Zone in Torry is a stark example of their priorities: to exploit communities for profit for as long as possible. We’re here in solidarity with the people of Aberdeen, making the vital connection between local and global climate justice.”

Anti-fracking campaign on “high alert”

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A network of anti-fracking groups is urging supporters to prepare for a government U-turn on the moratorium in England.

Climate rally outside the Polish embassy, 1 December 2018. Photo: Frack Free United

Frack Free United urged its supporters to remain vigilant with the imminent submission of a report on the science of fracking, due by Thursday (30 June 2022).

The energy secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, who commissioned the report, said in a recent speech he would “consider the next steps”.

A moratorium on fracking in England has been in force since November 2019. This was introduced after fracking by Cuadrilla at its Preston New Road site in Lancashire caused a series of small earthquakes, one felt across the region.

In a newsletter, Frack Free United warned:

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Climate campaigners disrupt Shell AGM

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Disruption by climate campaigners today forced Shell to pause its first AGM since moving headquarters to London.

Protest outside Shell AGM, 24 May 2022. Photo: DrillOrDrop

The company asked for police help when about 80 demonstrators posing as shareholders accused it of human rights abuses, ecocide, fuel climate breakdown and funding misinformation.

After about 40 minutes, Shell chief executive, Ben van Beurden, and the board left the room to shouts from some in the audience of “Out, out, out”.

Earlier, a choir interrupted the chairman’s address with a revised version of Queen’s We Will Rock You, changing words to “we will stop you”.

Other protesters read testimonies of the impact of Shell’s activities in Africa. A banner was unveiled reading “Shell profits from hell on Earth”.

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Yes, Colonialism Caused Climate Change, IPCC Reports

Atmos

A woman dressed with traditional clothes wearing a face mask with the word “decolonize” in Spanish. (Photograph by Marcos del Mazo/LightRocket via Getty Images)

04.04.2022 WORDS BY YESSENIA FUNES

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its final report Monday. The Frontline explores the significance of the sixth report finally naming “colonialism” as a historical and ongoing driver of the climate crisis.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its first report in 1990. Over 30 years later, the word “colonialism” finally made its way into the IPCC’s sixth assessment report. The panel’s working group two report, which looks at the impacts of climate change on people, listed colonialism not only as a driver of the climate crisis but also as an ongoing issue that is exacerbating communities’ vulnerability to it.

The addition of one word may not seem like

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No new fossil fuel projects compatible with stable climate

Drill or drop.

Opponents of fossil fuel developments in southern England have described the government’s climate criteria for future oil and gas licences as “inherently flawed”.

IGas site at Misson, Nottinghamshire, 4 February 2019. Photo: Eric Walton

Ministers have proposed a climate compatibility checkpoint will decide whether new licences should be offered for exploration and production, both on and offshore. There are six tests that must be passed to avoid a pause in licensing.

Responding to a government consultation, the Weald Action Group said the checkpoint threatened UK net zero targets and global climate stability.

The group called for:

  • Immediate moratorium on onshore and offshore oil and gas projects that have been licenced but not approved.
  • Block on all future licensing rounds
  • Scrapping of the climate compatibility checkpoint

Weald Action Group said:

“We are in a climate emergency and no new fossil fuel projects are compatible with maintaining a stable climate. If we are to have any hope of keeping global average temperature rise below 1.50 c it is crucial that new oil and gas exploration is halted now. “

“The proposed oil and gas climate compatibility checkpoint is an inherently flawed premise that threatens the delivery not only of the UK’s net-zero target but, more importantly, of the global stability of the climate.”

The checklist creates doubt about the timing and speed of the UK’s move out of fossil fuels, the group said:

“This will create uncertainty for thousands of oil and gas workers who have a right to a just transition to sustainable and secure professions.”

Weald Action Group added:

“The UK bears a huge historic greenhouse gas emissions burden, is a developed country with a diversified economy much less dependent on oil and gas compared to other parts of the world, and has access to significant sources of clean renewable energy. As such, the UK must be one of the countries that goes first in ending new oil and gas exploration and production.”

The group said its arguments had been backed recently by:

Weald Action Group said the flaws in the checkpoint included:

Licensing It applies only to new oil and gas licensing rounds, ignoring the significant climate impact of already licensed but not approved projects.

Tests Some of the proposed potential tests risk “skewing the checkpoint in favour of allowing further licensing rounds”, the group said. It said carbon capture and storage, for example, must be used only as part of a transition out of fossil fuels. It should not be a means of extending oil and gas exploration and production.

Clarity There was also a “worrying lack of clarity” about how potential tests in the checklist would be weighted, the group said in its response. There was a risk, it said, that a proposed test which assesses the UK’s status as a net exporter or importer would have more influence than tests considering carbon emissions from the use of production oil or gas.

Weald Action Group also called for more political focus on managing energy demand, which it said was frequently bypassed in discussions about security of supplies.

EA minded to permit waste water re-injection at Surrey oil site

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The Environment Agency is seeking public comments on its proposal to allow Angus Energy to dispose of waste water underground at the Brockham oil site in Surrey.

Angus Energy site at Brockham, Surrey, on 16 December 2018. Photo: Brockham Protectors

Despite local concerns, the EA said it was minded to permit water re-injection at Brockham.

In a draft decision document, the EA said it was satisfied that risks had been identified and that operating procedures were “sufficient to mitigate the risk to groundwater”. There was no need for groundwater monitoring, it said.

A public consultation opens on Wednesday 29 December 2021 and runs until Monday 31 January 2021. Comments can be made online or by email

Details

Waste water, also known as produced or formation water, often comes to the surface during oil and gas extraction.

It is usually very salty and may be radioactive. Companies seek to re-inject it back underground to avoid expensive water treatment and to support the pressure in the hydrocarbon reservoir, improving hydrocarbon flows.

Angus Energy has previously said it would give up the Brockham site if it could not re-inject waste water.

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Enforcement at Rathlin Energy oil site not “proportionate or sustainable” despite planning breach, says council

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Rathlin Energy breached planning permission at its West Newton-A site in East Yorkshire, a council official confirmed today.

But the official said it would not be “proportionate or sustainable” to insist Rathlin returned the site to farmland, as required by the permission.

A local residents’ group, which raised the issue with East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said today it was seeking legal advice.

Rathlin Energy’s West Newton-A site, November 2021. Photo: Used with the owner’s consent

DrillOrDrop reported last week that planning permission at West Newton-A, granted in 2018, lapsed on Friday 19 November 2021.

Our article said Rathlin Energy had not complied with a condition to remove all equipment, plug and abandon the wells and restore the site by the deadline.

Neither the company nor East Riding of Yorkshire Council responded to our questions.

But DrillOrDrop has seen correspondence, sent today by a council officer to a resident, confirming that Rathlin has not complied with the first condition of the planning permission requiring site clearance and restoration.

The official said:

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Government backs long-term oil production in legal challenge

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The UK government is in court today to defend long-term oil production in the Surrey greenbelt – just three days after the end of international climate talks in Glasgow.

Horse Hill site in Surrey. Photo: Weald Action Group

A legal challenge, brought by environmental campaigner Sarah Finch, seeks to overturn consent for expansion at the Horse Hill site in Surrey and 20 years of oil extraction .

Her case, at the Court of Appeal in London, centres on whether all the climate impacts of a proposal should be taken into account when planning permission is considered.

The government has backed Surrey County Council,

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Red and Black Telly roundup.









COP26: Fossil fuel industry has biggest delegation at climate talks – study

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More than 500 lobbyists from some of the largest oil and gas companies have been given access to the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, new analysis has found.

COP26 venue. Photo: DrillOrDrop.

Researchers counted the number of individuals either affiliated with fossil fuel corporations, such as Shell, Gazprom or Exxon, or attending as members of delegations acting for the fossil fuel industry.

The study, by Corporate Accountability, Corporate Europe Observatory, Glasgow Calls Out Polluters and Global Witness, found

  • If the fossil fuel lobby were a country delegation at COP26 it would be the largest, with 503 delegates
  • This would be double the size of the UK delegation and more than twenty individuals bigger than Brazil, the largest country delegation
  • More than 100 fossil fuel companies are represented at COP26
  • 30 fossil fuel trade associations and membership organisations are also present
  • Fossil fuel lobbyists are about double the official number from the indigenous constituency at COP26

The researchers also found that the fossil fuel lobby was larger than the combined total of the eight delegations from countries worst affected by climate change in the last two decades: Puerto Rico, Myanmar, Haiti, Philippines, Mozambique, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Pakistan.

The analysis also showed that 27 official country delegations, including Canada, Kuwait, Russia and Brazil, registered fossil fuel lobbyists.

Yesterday the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change 9UNFCCC), the COP26 organisers was accused of violating its charter because it had “forged an intimate partnership with corporations”.

COP26 has been criticised in the past week as the most excluding of the climate talks. People from countries in the climate front line have complained about lack of access because of issues such as travel restrictions and lack of Covid-19 vaccines.

Murray Worthy, Gas Campaign Leader at Global Witness, said:

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