Just Stop Oil marches as UK’s leading climate scientist offers dire warning

Just Stop Oil supporters are approaching the end of week thirteen of their campaign of daily marching to demand an end to new oil, gas and coal in the UK. [1]

170 supporters in 16 groups set off at around 8am to march in Hammersmith, Redbridge, Kings Cross, Victoria, Whitechapel, Farringdon, and Earls Court. This morning Animal Rising will be joining in solidarity, slow-marching from Smithfield Meat Market, whilst LGBTQ+ supporters of Just Stop Oil are marching through Westminster. 

There have been numerous incidents of members of the public shoving supporters out of the road today, with several marchers knocked to the ground, including a visually impaired woman and a young student. 

Matt Black, founder of Ninja Tune Records and producer of 90’s hit ‘The Only Way Is Up’, has been arrested in Parliament Square for marching with Just Stop Oil this morning. He said:

“I’ve been arrested today whilst standing against our government’s unbelievably corrupt and idiotic mishandling of the climate emergency. Just Stop Oil is ringing the fire alarm because oil and gas are burning down our home. Every day on the news, more extreme heat, floods are raging, and people are suffering and dying. And this is coming to the UK, trust me.”

“When you ring the alarm it wakes people up and it’s a horrible racket, so they might get pissed off. But when you see the house is on fire, the alarm stops. We can worry about putting the flames out. First step, stop the guys chucking petrol on the house- the oil companies. And then get off our addiction to burning their products. Renewables already won the argument, being far cheaper and safer. But oil companies are doing everything to keep us addicted. They lie, they cheat, they murder and they bribe our government to protect them.”  

Another of those marching this morning, Tom Williams, 33, a scientist from Cambridge, said:

“Climate collapse is here, now, you just have to look at the front page of the news. That means every fraction of a degree of warming matters, every tonne of carbon is more deaths and lives ruined. Our government knows that. Every day we see new and terrifying headlines, giving us a glimpse of the unliveable future they are pushing us towards.” 

“Our governments’ policy is killing people so they can line their own pockets. We need a government that moves past this corruption and greed and instead invests the money they pour into new oil and gas into clean energy, cheap public transport and all the other infrastructure we so badly need. Anyone can stand up, and if enough of us do, we can protect ourselves and others.”

This morning’s marches come on the back of comments from Professor Sir Bob Watson who said: “I do not believe we will achieve the 1.5C limit; in fact, I’m very pessimistic about achieving even 2C, and that if we allow the target to become looser and looser, higher and higher, governments will do even less in the future.”

Watson is currently Emeritus Professor of the UK’s Tyndall Centre for Climate Research. He previously worked at the UN, Nasa, UK’s Department of Environment and the US White House – and is perhaps one of the foremost climate scientists in the world. His comments, although candid, were supported by Lord Stern, Chairman of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

The International Panel on Climate Change has said keeping temperature rises below 1.5C, rather than 2C, would mean 10 million fewer people would lose their homes to rising sea levels. [2]

Since the Just Stop Oil campaign launched on 14th February 2022, there have been over 2,350 arrests and 138 people have spent time in prison, many without trial. There are currently three Just Stop Oil supporters imprisoned for demanding an end to new oil, gas and coal.

It’s time to get off the sidelines and join in civil resistance to end new oil, gas and coal. We are inviting everyone to come and march with us every day in London from the 16th-22nd July. Sign up for action at juststopoil.org.

Just Stop Oil is gathering evidence and details of the crimes perpetrated by climate criminals. Fossil fuel executives, bankers, ministers, officials, and members of the legal and media professions who order, administrate, or facilitate the exploitation of new oil and gas resources, or who conspire to prosecute those taking action to prevent the greatest act of mass murder in human history, will be held responsible for their actions. 

To those who wish to help gather evidence or discuss the issues arising in a safe online space, please email: [email protected]


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Notes to Editors

[1] Just Stop Oil is a coalition of groups working together to demand that the government immediately halt all future licensing and consents for the exploration, development and production of fossil fuels in the UK. Just Stop Oil is a member of the A22 Network of civil resistance projects. Climate Emergency Fund is Just Stop Oil’s primary funder for recruitment, training, and capacity building.

Just Stop Oil ‘Blue Lights’ policy: our policy is, and has always been, to move out of the way for emergency vehicles with siren sounding and ‘blue lights’ on.

[2] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-66256101