Climate activist organization Just Stop Oil is blocking sections of the M25.
The civil resistance activities started today (Wednesday 20 July) and will run until Friday 22 July 2022. A march and sit-down protest at Westminster has been confirmed for 23 July.
Just Stop Oil wants to use what it acknowledges as an “expensive and disruptive” course of action to force the UK government into action. The group calls for an immediate cessation of all future licensing and consent for the exploration, development, and production of fossil fuels in the UK.
It comes after temperatures in the country reached more than 40°C this week for the first time ever. The organization called the abandonment of fossil fuel production the “first necessary step to ensuring a liveable future.”
The group recently defended its invasion of the Silverstone track during a Grand Prix race.
Turning up the heat on the UK government
Just Stop Oil has blocked the M25 motorway in three separate locations.
Activists have climbed on top of overhead signs and gantries at the Poyle Interchange, Cobham, and Dartford. Police have been forced to close key sections of the road.
“The world is burning, it’s got to be obvious now to the people of this country, you have been lied to, fobbed off by the government and media fuelled by the oil barons and their greed,” Louise Lancaster, a former teacher and M25 protestor said in a statement.
She added: “We have a serious, serious emergency; action needs to be taken. The government must not license 40 new oil fields. The government must take swift action to stand by its climate pledges and protect the future for our young people.”
Record temperatures spur on climate activists
Just Stop Oil cites the recent UK heatwave, alongside anticipated heat stroke-related deaths, as its motivation for blocking the M25.
A press statement from Just Stop Oil says: “The criminals that have our democracy by the throat are currently overseeing the destruction of everything that is needed for society and the state to function.”
“By continuing to allow and expand fossil fuel production they are sealing our fate. Europe will see heat waves surpassing 50°C in the near future and these will become more and more common. The Middle East and North Africa face 60°C heatwaves lasting months. It is clear that our society will collapse within the next two decades.”
Connecting the dots between humans and the climate emergency
A recent survey found that one in six British citizens is not convinced that humans caused the climate crisis. This is despite the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, which stated that it is an “unequivocal” fact.
Alongside a drastic reduction of fossil fuel reliance, a widespread transition to plant-based diets is recommended to negate further climate damage.
According to the United Nations, 14.5 percent of global emissions come from animal agriculture. It’s also a leading driver of deforestation.