Campaigners from Extinction Rebellion took part in a demonstration in Kingston this morning before a meeting of Surrey County Council.
The protest was part of a day of action designed to draw attention to the links between climate change and fossil fuels. (See also DrillOrDrop report from Horse Hill
The protesters were angry that Surrey County Council had granted planning permission for oil production at Horse Hill after voting to declare a climate emergency.
During the protest, police removed a model lighthouse structure called Little Greta which had been used at other protests in Surrey. Photos by Extinction Rebellion
James Knapp, of Extinction Rebellion, said:
“Science says we need to urgently bring greenhouse gas emissions down to net zero to prevent climate catastrophe.
“But the Surrey councillors instead supported plans to increase supplies of oil. They had an opportunity to vote to leave this oil in the ground – and they didn’t take it. We are here to remind them that they need to turn away from business as usual and take the bold decisions necessary to avert disaster.”
Another member of Extinction Rebellion, Carol Foussat, said:
“We can all see the writing on the wall with the climate emergency, yet the politicians are not moving quickly enough to save us from the worst possible future.
“As citizens of the UK, it is our duty to stand up for people who suffer now and will suffer in the future as the world gets warmer, food and water run short, and the oceans rise and swallow many cities. We have to do whatever we can to stop this.
“We need politicians who are willing to think long term and act quickly.”
The public was not allowed into the council meeting. It had been due to be livestreamed but the webcast was not working for at least part of the meeting.
Councillors discussed a report from the greener task force which has been looking at how the authority will tackle climate change. Councillor John O Reilly says the council had to be “very ambitious” with action on the climate emergency but needed funding to make the journey a reality.
Surrey County Council is expected to make a statement about the protest. This post will be updated when we receive it.