“They have blood on their hands!” Just Stop Oil supporters spray paint over Treasury to demand an end to new oil and gas

Four supporters of the Just Stop Oil coalition sprayed red paint over the Treasury this morning declaring the government has blood on its hands as a result of its plans to encourage new oil and gas projects in the UK.

The action, which is likely to result in arrests for criminal damage, was prompted by the approval by Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng of Shell’s Jackdaw North Sea gas field on 1st June. Jackdaw is one of the largest remaining gas fields, containing between 120 and 250 million barrels of oil equivalent which when burned would produce carbon emissions greater than half of Scotland’s annual emissions. [1][2][3]

The action was also prompted by Rishi Sunak’s announcement of a new tax credit to encourage oil and gas investment. The relief from the new energy withholding tax will cost the Treasury up to £5.7bn –  revenue could have been used to insulate at least 2 million homes and permanently lift those households out of fuel poverty. By incentivising oil and gas investment instead of renewables the rebate will slow down the transition to Net Zero and do nothing for energy bills.[4]. 

24 year old Louise Harris from Luton, Bedfordshire said: 

“I’m taking action today because our government has blood on its hands. Kwasi Kwarteng has just approved the Jackdaw gas field, despite the UN’s latest warning that new fossil fuel investment is ‘moral and economic madness’. 

“Rishi Sunak is allowing the cost of living crisis to drive millions of people into fuel poverty and giving handouts to fossil fuel companies who are raking in billions in profit and knowingly destroying our future. 

“The government is actively planning the death of billions of people due to climate catastrophe – both now and in future, while young people like me who are resisting this genocidal madness are branded as criminals.”

Xanthe Wells aged 18, from Oxford said:

“Kwasi Kwarteng recently stated that the government had started funding offshore wind energy, and that renewable energy is better and more cost effective. So why does the government continue to encourage oil and gas developments that will take us well beyond safe climate limits and will condemn billions to death through fuel poverty, air pollution and climate collapse? This is genocidal. We have no future, we have been betrayed.  

“If we stop new oil today, the UK has 8 years of oil and gas reserves left, time enough to safely transition to renewable energy whilst making sure workers are not left behind. The UK could easily commit to being 100% renewable energy by 2030. That is what Germany is doing. If the UK Government are climate leaders like they claim, they need to start taking emergency action.”

Rory Hooper, aged 17, from Wales said:

“We may be young, but we know what our future holds and how people around the world are suffering already. Scientists are telling us it’s now or never, so if the government won’t act like that’s the reality then we will. We are not here today appealing for government action  – we are demanding it and we won’t stop until the government makes a commitment to no new oil and gas projects in the UK.”


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Notes to Editors

[1] Decision to approve Jackdaw https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-61666693

[2] Jackdaw environmental statement https://www.ogj.com/exploration-development/article/14248206/shell-submits-amended-environmental-statement-for-jackdaw

[3] https://act.foe.scot/stop-jackdaw

[4] Oil and gas tax relief could have insulated 2 million homes instead. https://www.e3g.org/news/oil-and-gas-tax-relief-could-have-insulated-two-million-homes-instead/