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Standoff between BP and Greenpeace continues on rig in the Cromarty Firth

By Gregor White

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Campaigners scaling the rig on Sunday evening.
Campaigners scaling the rig on Sunday evening.

Fresh supplies have been taken on board as two new environmental campaigners took the place of those who had climbed onto the Transocean rig on Sunday night to stop it being towed out for operations at the Vorlich field in the North Sea.

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.

Commenting Pete, one of the new activists occupying the BP rig, said: "The UK could make history by becoming the first major economy in the world to set a target to completely end its contribution to climate change by 2050.

"But we will never be able to achieve that goal and tackle the climate emergency if companies like BP are still allowed to send their rigs out to drill for more oil in the midst of a climate emergency.

"If ministers are serious about hitting a net zero greenhouse gas emissions target, they should ban all new oil and gas exploration and stop the industry from draining the last drop of oil out of the North Sea.

"Today, it's us trying to stop the fossil fuel industry from wrecking our children's future. Tomorrow, it should be the government."

BP previously said it was working with Transocean and the authorities to try to resolve the situation and Police Scotland said it was aware of an ongoing incident but that the situation was currently within the jurisdiction of the Cromarty Firth Port Authority.

A BP spokesman said: "In all operations safety is our top priority. While we recognise the right for peaceful protest, the actions of this group are irresponsible and may put themselves and others unnecessarily at risk.

"We are working with Transocean – the rig’s owner and operator – and the authorities to assess the situation and resolve it peacefully and safely.

"We share the protestors’ concerns about the climate. We support the Paris Agreement. And we are working every day to advance the world’s transition to a low carbon future.

"We’re reducing emissions from our own operations – down 1.7 million tonnes last year – improving our products to help our customers reduce their emissions, and creating new low carbon businesses. We are committed to being part of the solution to the climate challenge facing all of us."

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