Protestors disrupt Labour conference fringe event over fossil fuel lobbyists

Green New Deal activists are campaigning the Labour conference in Liverpool

A Labour conference fringe event was disrupted on Monday evening after green activists protested against events being hosted by oil and gas lobbyists.

Five Green New Deal protestors were escorted out by security after standing up, chanting and unfurling a banner reading ‘revoke Rosebank’ at the front of the fringe event, which was sponsored by Offshore Energies.

The oil and gas group Offshore Energies UK represents fossil fuel companies including Shell, BP and Equinor, the company behind the controversial recently approved Rosebank oil field.

One of the activists addressing the audience at the fringe event, Tash, 21, said: “Labour should be protecting workers and our future, not cosying up with fossil fuel lobbyists.

“Keir should revoke Rosebank and cut all ties with the fossil fuel industry. Why are Labour giving a platform to the people who are destroying our future rather than meeting with us?”

The disruption follows a series of actions from the climate action group during the Labour Party conference in Liverpool, including a rally on Sunday morning, and challenging MPs on Green New Deal policies.  

Hannah Martin, co-Director of Green New Deal Rising said young people want Labour to take bolder, transformative measures to tackle the climate crisis.

“There can be no new oil and gas if we’re going to stop climate change, and so Labour needs to stop cosying up to the fossil fuel industry, and instead commit to revoking the licence of the Rosebank oil and gas field and enacting a Green New Deal,” said Martin.

She added: “Offshore Energies UK represents climate criminals like Shell, BP and Equinor. They should not be welcome at Labour conference and Labour ministers should not be sitting on panels alongside their lobbyists.

“Young people want a real alternative to Tory chaos, not climate denying business as usual.”

The group’s demands include; public ownership of energy, water and transport, a Green Jobs Guarantee investing in a low carbon economy and enacting a national Nature Service. They want this to be funded by taxing wealth and capital.

On Monday, the Labour conference backed a motion for public ownership of energy, which was forwarded by Unite the union and committed the party to denounce the privatisation of electricity and gas as a failure, which the group supported.

(Image credit: Jess Hurd)

Hannah Davenport is news reporter at Left Foot Forward, focusing on trade unions and environmental issues

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