Anti-fracking campaigners are to protest against Ineos during the Tour of Britain cycle race tomorrow (14 September 2019) by wearing devil masks of the company’s billionaire owner, Jim Ratcliffe.
They are targeting stage eight of the race from Altrincham to Manchester
This is the latest in a series of protests since Ineos took over sponsorship of the former Team Sky in May 2019. Other demonstrations have been held at the Tour de Yorkshire, Tour de France and in Belgium.
The protest organisers said they aim to highlight what they say is the “true face” of the Team Ineos sponsor. The company is the UK’s largest shale gas licence-holder. It is also a major international chemical company and the biggest producer of virgin plastic in Europe.
Many of the protesters are said to be cycling enthusiasts. They have said they expect the demonstration to be peaceful and respect race spectators.
They said they were opposing what they described as Ineos’s attempt to “greenwash it’s environment-damaging and climate-threatening industries”.
Allan Challenger, from Frack Free Greater Manchester, said:
“To reduce our carbon emissions, fossil fuels need to be left in the ground. Due to its detrimental local health impacts, persistent triggering of seismic events and climate-busting methane emissions fracking is especially toxic and should be banned in the UK as it has been in other countries.”
Andy Gheorghiu, policy adviser and campaigner for Food & Water Europe said:
“Ineos relies on climate hostile fracked gas to produce more cheap virgin plastic”.
“This company plays an active role in increasing the climate and plastic pollution crisis and it shouldn’t be allowed to greenwash its business model with the sponsorship of sports teams.”
Ineos has planning permission to drill exploratory shale gas wells at sites at Bramleymoor Lane in Derbyshire and Harthill in south Yorkshire. No work has yet been carried out at either site.
A third Ineos shale gas application, for the village Woodsetts, also in south Yorkshire, was examined at a public inquiry earlier this year. The inquiry inspector’s report is due to be delivered by January 2020, when the local government secretary will then decide the application.