Activists from Extinction Rebellion Scotland have blocked entrances to the Ineos petrochemical plant at Grangemouth in Falkirk.
A two-hour demonstration was also planned outside Ineos headquarters in central London this morning.
In the action in Scotland, groups of protesters have locked themselves together. They have parked a boat at the Bo’ness Road gate. Another boat is parked at the Ineos office on Inchyra Road.
Data released by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency last week and reported by The Ferret website showed that Ineos was the largest climate polluter in Scotland. The company’s plants at Grangemouth released 3.2 million tonnes of CO2 in 2019.
Extinction Rebellion Scotland said it aimed to “actively cut emissions with our actions today by shutting down the Ineos plant”.
The group said that Ineos continued to import fracked gas from the US to Grangemouth, despite an indefinite moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in Scotland.
Campaigner Annie Lane, 26, from Glasgow said:
“Ineos Grangemouth is Scotland’s largest climate polluter. It is Scotland’s only crude oil refinery. It also stores fracked gas from the States.
“Given the widely assumed ‘ban’ on fracking in Scotland, for fracked gas which harms communities worldwide to still be processed here is outrageously hypocritical.
“We are here to expose the climate destruction that Ineos is causing. We are running out of time, with the climate crisis affecting so many in the global south already. If Scotland really wants to be the “Climate Leaders” they claim to be, we need to see a just transition to a greener and fairer society, led by ordinary people and not corrupt billionaires like Jim Ratcliffe.”
A statement from Ineos said:
“We note that early in the morning (around 7:30 AM), Extinction Rebellion blocked the entrances to INEOS office on Inchyra Road in Grangemouth. The group demands a transition away from fossil fuels.
“INEOS respects the right to peacefully protest in a responsible and safe manner, but notes that over the 10 years between 2009 and 2019, CO2 emissions from the INEOS Grangemouth site have reduced by 37% and from the Chemicals business by 43%.
“The site is operating normally.
“INEOS products are used in a wide range of every day and essential items, currently protecting front line healthcare professionals and their patients, whether through the use of PPE or the application of medicines to treat the effects of the pandemic and the development of antiviral drugs. The use of plastics has been invaluable during these unprecedented times.
“Our sites continue to explore ways to reduce our emissions. At the end of September INEOS announced the largest ever purchase contract of wind energy for heavy industry in Belgium. The deal will reduce annual emissions by 115,000 tonnes of CO2 each year starting from next year – the equivalent of taking 100,000 cars off the road each year.
“As more and more energy intensive manufacturing industries in Scotland close down then it is inevitable that those which the Scottish economy so heavily rely on will stand out above the rest in terms of their emissions. Observers should be left in no doubt: manufacturing products in the UK we rely on every day, every week, every year:
• Reduces carbon footprint from importing such items
• Ensures compliance with the strictest environmental and safety standards
• Delivers carbon savings through their applications, ‘light-weighting’ vehicles, components for wind turbines and so on.
“We do our utmost to do this as efficiently (and environmentally responsibly) as possible – because this is how we will remain in business. If our products (polymers, ethanol and ethylene) are no longer made in Scotland, then they will be manufactured elsewhere and transported to the country, adding significantly to the global emissions per tonne of product.”
A Police Scotland spokesman said:
“Officers are currently in attendance at a peaceful protest in Bo’ness Road and Inchyra Road, Grangemouth.
“The roads are blocked and drivers are asked to avoid the area. We are liaising with the protest organisers, Extinction Rebellion.”
Earlier this month, campaigners from across Europe occupied a site earmarked by Ineos for a major chemical complex in Belgium.