Climate Camp art activists cause 'oil' spill outside Cairn Energy
August 23, 2010
An 'oil' spill was caused outside the offices of Cairn Energy in central Edinburgh this morning. Activists targeted the Scottish energy company because it used public money from RBS to help it start drilling for oil off the coast of Greenland last month.
The art activists who met at the Climate Camp carried a two metre long piggy bank branded with the RBS logo filled with 60 litres of an oil like substance towards Cairn Energy's offices. Triggered by a golden coin representing the public money used to bail out the bank, the RBS 'piggy bank' unleashed its contents, believed to be molasses, covering the entrances and the street. Activists also sprayed 'oil' on the outside of the building with fire extinguishers.
It was revealed yesterday that Cairn Energy received £117 million of loans and equity last year from RBS, almost half of which directly enabled the drilling off the Greenland coast to start. This drilling is particularly controversial because the area hasn't been exploited for oil before and has only been made possible as climate change has caused icebergs in this region to melt. The BP Deepwater oil spill has clearly shown the dangers of offshore drilling and it's argued that Cairn don't have the experience to deal with accidents in the previously pristine and extremely environmentally sensitive Arctic. (A spill in the area would be almost impossible to clean up due to the thick ice.)
Alex Wilson, one of the activists who undertook the action said:
“RBS doesn't just sponsor the Edinburgh Fringe, it sponsors the oil companies who destroy the lives of hundreds of millions of people around the world through oil spills, war, drought and floods.
“Risky drilling in the Arctic by Cairn Energy has only been made possible by financial involvement by RBS. This is an outrageous use of over a hundred million pounds of public money given the economic and climate crises that we are facing.”
The activists say that this is the start of a new focus on taking direct action against the oil industry. A mass day of action dubbed 'The Crude Awakening' is already being planned and is set to take place in October in London.
Rachel Stone said:
“We have got the oil industry in our sights. We will be targeting the pumps, airports and factories that oil flows through. We will be taking direct action to switch off oil because it is at the heart of the climate crisis that we are all facing.”
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Notes to editors
- According to Bloomberg figures released yesterday Cairn Energy received £117 million in equity and loans.
- For more information on the Camp for Climate Action see www.climatecamp.org.uk.
- For more information about the Crude Awakening – day of action in October go to www.crudeawakening.org.uk