Greenpeace oil protestors scale British PM’s mansion

British PM Rishi Sunak's mansion draped in black fabric with oil protest sign held by Greenpeace activists
Greenpeace activists at British PM Rishi Sunak's mansion (Image: Greenpeace UK)

Greenpeace activists have draped 200sqm of black fabric over British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s £2m manor in Yorkshire in protest of his backing of a major expansion of North Sea oil and gas drilling.

The activists spent a total of five hours on top of Rishi Sunak’s mansion, which was unoccupied at the time of the protest, after using ladders and climbing ropes to reach the top of the building. They were later arrested by police.

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Sunak has come under heavy criticism for pushing ahead with plans to hand out around 100 new oil and gas licences in the North Sea, and even more in future, despite multiple warnings from the government’s own climate advisers, the International Energy Agency and the UN Secretary General that any new fossil fuel projects risk tipping the world into the danger zone above 1.5C of warming.

Greenpeace UK climate campaigner Philip Evans said, “Our activists have come down, having delivered their message to the Prime Minister who’s holidaying 5,000 miles away. It’s time for Sunak to decide which side he is on—Big Oil’s profits or our future on a habitable planet?

“By ignoring the stark warnings of his own advisors, energy experts and the UN, and committing to a climate-wrecking drilling frenzy in the North Sea, the Prime Minister is pouring fuel on the wildfires, floods and unprecedented heat waves that are ruining lives and livelihoods right around the world. The buck stops with him, and he must take sole responsibility for the devastation he is unleashing.

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“The oil and gas that Sunak wants to ‘max out’ will not lower our bills and it won’t make the UK more energy secure, since it is owned by the multinational fossil fuel giants that extract it, not the UK. Don’t believe these lies. The only way we can get cheaper energy, warmer homes, lower bills and a safe, habitable planet is if we transition as fast as possible to a clean, renewable energy system and properly insulated homes.

“We felt it was important to take this message directly to the Prime Minister’s doorstep today, since it is Sunak himself that has signed off on the decision to grant these licences and it is Sunak who holds the power to reverse this decision. So we ask the Prime Minister once more, Rishi Sunak, whose side are you on? Big Oil’s profits or our future?”

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