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Cromarty Firth oil rig activists defiant despite legal move to stop them

By Hector MacKenzie

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Greenpeace climbers aboard the BP oil rig Paul B. Loyd Junior in the mouth of the Cromarty Firth.
Greenpeace climbers aboard the BP oil rig Paul B. Loyd Junior in the mouth of the Cromarty Firth.

THE charity backing activists occupying a BP oil rig in the Cromarty Firth has been served with an interdict in an attempt to end stalemate.

As the stand-off between the oil giant and Greenpeace entered its third day, contractors working for BP have taken out an interdict in a bid to prevent the environmental activists from blocking the platform.

Rig workers also attempted to lower the interdict via a bucket and rope to the two Greenpeace activists who remain camped on the rig.

Greenpeace UK has vowed to continue with the occupation, despite the legal action, accusing BP of attempting to “silence peaceful protests” and fueling a climate emergency that it says will “threaten the lives of millions”.

The rig, which was bound for the Vorlich oil field, was due to open up a new well.

Environmental campaigners scaling the rig on Sunday evening.
Environmental campaigners scaling the rig on Sunday evening.

John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK, said: “This (interdict) has been taken out in an attempt to stop our action. BP have spent billions lobbying governments to prevent action on climate change and now they want to try to silence peaceful protest.

"But we’re in a climate emergency and they’re fuelling that. We have to act. Companies like BP cannot continue to drill new oil wells - their actions threaten the lives of millions and the future of our living planet. We won’t be gagged by a corporate injunction trying to silence us - the future of our planet is at stake.”

Greenpeace is demanding that BP immediately end drilling new wells and switch to investing only in renewable energy. If BP does not do that, Greenpeace say, it should wind down its operations, return cash to investors and go out of business.

It says scientists have been clear that we already have more oil and gas than we can safely burn under the Paris Agreement if we want to limit catastrophic climate change. Yet BP maintains its desire to both explore for more and expand its oil and gas production.

BP has said it shares the campaigners' concerns about climate change and wants a low carbon future.

But it said while it recognised the right for peaceful protest, "the actions of this group are irresponsible and may put themselves and others unnecessarily at risk".

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