Five grandparents, aged 63-82, are taking part in an anti-fracking protest at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in central London.
They used chains and arm tubes to lock themselves together in the lobby at about 10am this morning.
The protest calls on the government not to grant fracking consent to Cuadrilla for its Preston New Road shale gas site in Lancashire.
Cuadrilla is preparing to frack the first horizontal shale gas well in the UK. If approved, this would be the first high volume hydraulic fracture in the UK since 2011, when the company’s operation at Preese Hall, near Blackpool, was linked to a series of small earthquakes.
The national pressure group, Reclaim the Power, which organised this morning’s action, said:
“We are are truly scared by the speed with which the earth’s ecosystems are being destroyed. We cannot make the earth a subsidiary of the economy. Those who follow us are more precious than anything.”
The Green Party co-leader, Jonathan Bartley, tweeted:
“Full solidarity with Grandparents for a Safe Earth and @reclaimthepower locked on at BEIS demanding Greg Clark says no to fracking”.
A spokesperson for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said:
“We were one of the first countries to recognise and act on the global challenge posed by climate change. Since 1990 we have cut carbon emissions by over 40% and last year produced over 50% of electricity from low carbon sources.
“The UK has over 50 years of experience in regulating the onshore oil and gas industry, meaning the sector is governed by one of the safest, most environmentally sound and well-regulated systems in the world. These strong controls and laws will ensure shale gas can be explored safely and sustainably.”