Just Stop Oil supporters occupy insurance companies driving destruction

Just Stop Oil supporters have occupied an insurance building in coalition with Extinction Rebellion, as part of ‘Insure Our Futures.’ The groups are demanding insurers immediately stop insuring new and expanded coal, oil, and gas projects and the companies developing them. [1] [2]

At around 12:00 today, 30 Just Stop Oil supporters began occupying The Colmore Building in Birmingham. The building is home to three insurance companies: Allianz, Chubb, and Zurich. Today’s action is in solidarity with Students Against EACOP, a Ugandan based campaign group who are resisting the construction of the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline, a project that has wrought huge environmental destruction and mass displacement of people across the African Continent. [3]

One cohort of action takers remained in the building’s lobby, holding placards with slogans including ‘JUST STOP INSURING OIL + GAS’, ‘SOLIDARITY WITH STUDENTS AGAINST EACOP’, and ‘INSURING FOSSIL FUELS COSTS LIVES’. Another group infiltrated the building, occupying the first floor. Police officers entered the building by 12:15, having already made some arrests. A number of officers barricaded the building to prevent further entry, as a large group of sympathetic demonstrators gathered outside. By 13:00, police officers had arrested three Just Stop Oil supporters.

Allianz, Chubb and Zurich are all insuring new fossil fuel projects. Chubb have not ruled out insuring the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline and Zurich has not ruled out insuring the Cumbrian Coalmine. 

This morning in Bristol, a coalition of Just Stop Oil and Extinction Rebellion supporters climbed the roof of Tokio Marine in the early hours to occupy the roof of the insurance firm. Tokio Marine is a Japanese insurance multinational that have come under fire from faith groups and others for financially supporting the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP). [4] [5]

One of those taking action today is Xandra Gilchrist, 72 a retired social worker, who said:

“I’m taking action today for my daughter and grandson as well as communities in East Africa which are being devastated by the construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline. It’s critical that all of us act responsibly to protect our communities, this includes insurance corporations. 

Without their backing, companies such as Total and Esso will need to think again about how they increase their profits by extracting fossil fuels and pushing global heating out of control. Cheap clean renewable energy sources urgently need backing and insuring too.”

Another person taking action today is Greg Sculthorpe, 37, who works as an accountant. He said:

“I’m taking action to protect my nephews and niece, to try to rescue a future for them and all the lives around the world that are threatened with needless destruction. 

The insurance industry is still investing in short term profits for dirty polluters, rather than the safety and wellbeing of ordinary people. They have immense power to change our dire situation. It’s high time they took responsibility for ensuring a safe world for all.”

As the world passes tipping points that threaten the breakdown of ordered civilization, world leaders, captured by the interests of oil lobbyists and big business, are failing to protect our communities. British citizens are sick of being led by liars and crooks. Until we stop Tory oil, supporters of Just Stop Oil will continue taking proportionate action to demand necessary change. Sign up for action at juststopoil.org.


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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.

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://global.insure-our-future.com/global-week-of-action-2024/

[3] Students against EACOP is a group of Ugandan student climate activists who are fighting to stop the East African Crude Oil Pipeline from devastating the environment and violating the human rights of locals. Join us in our fight to protect the future of our nation. https://studentsagainsteacop.org/

[4] https://www.quaker.org.uk/documents/open-letter-to-tokio-marine-on-fossil-fuels-feb-2024-1

[5] https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/live-extinction-rebellion-just-stop-9134607