XR protest: Activists dump truck full of fake COAL outside Lloyd's

Now Extinction Rebellion activists dump a truck full of fake COAL outside Lloyd’s London HQ in protest at the insurer backing fossil fuel mining

  • Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists dumped fake coal outside Lloyd’s of London’s headquarters today
  • The group group unfurled banners with slogans including ‘Climate Criminals’ and ‘fossil fuels = death’
  • They accused Lloyd’s of facilitating the fossil fuel industry, a day after XR smashed HSBC’s windows 

Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists dumped fake coal outside Lloyd’s of London’s headquarters today in protest against the fossil fuel industry a day after the US committed to slashing greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030.

Eco-warriors unfurled banners with slogans including ‘Climate Criminals’, ‘fossil fuels = death’ and ‘insuring fossil fuels = ensuring climate breakdown’ as they dumped fake coal outside the building on Lime Street in the City. 

City of London Police arrested two protesters after safety barriers were placed around the rubble and placards stuck in the mound which read ‘we are the dead canaries’ and ‘do not insure the West Cumbria coal mine’.

The group, which seeks to trigger political, economic and social revolution to avert climate change, accused Lloyd’s of facilitating the fossil fuel industry by supporting the most polluting projects, such as tar sands and coal mines – including the highly controversial Adani Carmichael coal mine in Australia.  

It comes a day after XR activists smashed the window frontage of HSBC’s headquarters in Canary Wharf, and two weeks after demonstrators shattered windows at Barclays in London.  

A City of London Police spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘Our officers attended a protest this morning on Lime Street, EC3M. Two people have been arrested for obstructing the highway.’ 

Lloyd’s of London has been approached for comment.  

Activists from Extinction Rebellion, a global environmental movement, dump fake coal, made from rocks, into the street during a protest outside the Lloyd’s building in London

Activists from Extinction Rebellion, a global environmental movement, stand next to fake coal, made from rocks, during a protest outside the Lloyd’s building

Activists from Extinction Rebellion, a global environmental movement, hold a banner as they protest outside the Lloyd’s building in London

Activists from Extinction Rebellion, a global environmental movement, hold a banner as they stand next to fake coal, made from rocks, during a protest outside the Lloyd’s building

Police officers detain an activist from the Extinction Rebellion, a global environmental movement, during a protest outside the Lloyd’s building in London

Activists from Extinction Rebellion, a global environmental movement, hold banners as they stand next to fake coal, made from rocks, during a protest outside the Lloyd’s building

A group of climate activists have dumped wheelbarrows full of cow manure outside the White House to protest President Joe Biden’s climate plan. 

The protesters are said to be from Extinction Rebellion, a group that often performs stunt protests. 

Extinction Rebellion describe themselves as ‘a global environmental movement with the stated aim of using nonviolent civil disobedience to compel government action to avoid tipping points in the climate system, biodiversity loss, and the risk of social and ecological collapse.’ 

On Thursday, several protesters tipped over wheelbarrows in full view of the gates of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. 

After dumping the cow manure in front of the White House, a sign was placed in the pile reading, ‘Stop the bulls***.’ Another sign held up read, ‘Declare climate emergency now.’ 

Members of the group also held banners that read, ‘DECLARE A CLIMATE EMERGENCY NOW’ and ‘BIDEN’S 2030 PLAN = MASS DEATH.’      

The group say they want to bring attention to ‘Biden’s Bulls**t Climate Plan’ and demand that President Biden declare a climate and ecological emergency under the National Emergencies Act and set a net-zero emissions target of 2025.

Biden’s has committed the U.S. fossil fuel emissions up to 52% by 2030 which is in line with pledges made by other countries.

Hayley Sestokas, an organiser with Frontline Action on Coal in Australia, said: ‘Adani is building its mine on stolen land. The Wangan and Jagalingou people have said no to Adani four times. 

‘Australia is already the world’s biggest exporter of coal. If the Galilee Basin is opened up, this would double our output at a time when the world desperately needs to move away from coal to curb runaway climate change. 

‘That’s why people from all over Australia are putting their bodies on the line to resist the building of this mine. Lloyd’s need to stop insuring this deadly project. It’s great to see people taking action in London today.’ 

In a statement, Harriet, 28, from Insurance Rebellion, said: ‘Every day that Lloyd’s continues to insure fossil fuel projects we move one step closer to climate breakdown.

‘Fossil fuel companies are destroying our planet, causing millions of people’s homes to be flooded, burnt to the ground in wildfires, and reclaimed by rising sea levels.

She added: ‘We have to stop fossil fuels now before the climate emergency becomes any worse. Fossil fuel companies can’t run without insurance, so let’s stop insuring them.’

John, 41, who took part in the protest, said: ‘Lloyd’s of London continues to insure the world’s biggest fossil fuel projects. After many polite requests, they’ve refused to rule out underwriting even the most controversial projects like Adani’s mega coal mine in Australia or the West Cumbria coal mine in the UK. 

‘We’re here today because we’re not willing to accept any more excuses, delays or half measures.’ 

Lloyd’s has asked members to stop providing new insurance cover for thermal coal, oil sands, or new Arctic energy exploration from January 1, 2022, with a target of 2030 to phase out the renewal of existing cover.   

Some major Lloyd’s insurers have ruled out insuring the Carmichael mine, from which Adani plans to start producing 10 million tonnes of coal per year from 2021. 

Yesterday nine women smashed the windows of HSBC’s London headquarters while wearing patches with the words ‘better broken windows than broken promises’ – a slogan used by the suffragettes during protests in the early 20th century. 

Stickers reading ‘£80billion into fossil fuels in the last five years’ were stuck to the windows in London’s Docklands, before the women hammered painted chisels through the glass.  

All nine activists were arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage, the Metropolitan Police confirmed.  

The protest was staged to draw attention to HSBC’s continuing links to the fossil fuel industry, with activists claiming the bank’s climate plan allows it to finance coal power.

In a statement, the group said: ‘Despite HSBCs pledge to shrink its carbon footprint to net zero by 2050, their current climate plan still allows the bank to finance coal power, and provides no basis to turn away clients or cancel contracts based on links to the fossil fuel industry.’ 

HSBC told MailOnline it welcomes ‘meaningful dialogue’ on its climate strategy but it ‘cannot condone vandalism or actions that put people and property at risk.’ Contractors have estimated that the damage could cost £160,000 to repair. 

The bank said it is ‘committed to set out short and medium term transition targets, and to phase out the financing of coal-fired power and thermal coal mining by 2040 globally.’

A spokesperson added: ‘We have an ambition to be net zero by 2030 and to bring our financed emissions to net zero by 2050. We remain committed to supporting our customers in their transition to net zero.’  

‘It’s time to stand up and be counted,’ said Gully Bujak, 28, from Extinction Rebellion. ‘Doing this today may land us in prison but we’re on the right side of history.’ 

Valerie Brown, 68, the London mayoral candidate for political party Burning Pink, addressed HSBC directly. She said: ‘Investing in fossil fuels is murder. More and more people can see that clearly. Why can’t you? 

‘We will not stand by whilst you invest in runaway greed, whilst people’s lives are being shattered by the fossil fuel industries.’

It comes a day after Boris Johnson threw himself wholeheartedly behind Joe Biden as the US president tore up the Trump administration’s antipathy towards tackling climate change. 

Activists from Extinction Rebellion, a global environmental movement, stand next to fake coal, made from rocks, during a protest outside the Lloyd’s building

An activist from Extinction Rebellion, a global environmental movement, stands next to fake coal, made from rocks, during a protest outside the Lloyd’s building in London

Extinction Rebellion activists smashed at least 19 windows at HSBC’s Canary Wharf headquarters

Several woman stuck fliers reading ‘£80 billion into fossil fuels in the last five years’ to the windows

All nine activists involved were arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage, the Metropolitan Police confirmed today

Police officers detain an Extinction Rebellion activist outside Barclays Bank’s London headquarters in Canary Wharf following a demonstration on April 7

An Extinction Rebellion protest at Barclays in Canary Wharf, where they used hammers and chisels to break windows on April 7

Mr Biden used a climate conference attended by 40 world leaders including Vladimir Putin to pledge to cut US greenhouse gas emissions in half compared to 2005 output within the next decade, a move the Prime Minister hailed as ‘game-changing’.

The US reduction – estimated to be around a 41-44 per cent cut on 1990 levels – is part of a national climate plan, which it is submitting as part of its return to the Paris climate accord, the world’s first comprehensive climate treaty which Donald Trump quit when he was president.

But the Prime Minister has already faced criticism over his own plans which go far further than those of the US. Mr Johnson has set out the UK’s moves to cut greenhouse gases by 78 per cent of 1990 levels by 2035.

According to advice from the UK Government’s advisory Climate Change Committee (CCC), delivering on Mr Johnson’s target will mean radical changes including an end to heating homes with natural gas boilers, eating less meat and dairy produce, and switching to electric cars. Critics said it would cost £10,000 to upgrade homes and mean a cut in foreign holidays.

But Mr Johnson urged the world’s richest nations to embrace climate action for the sake of growth and jobs – as he told them it was not just about ‘bunny-hugging’.

‘I’m not saying any of this is going to be easy and there is obviously going to be a political challenge,’ the PM told assembled world leaders.

‘It’s vital for all of us to show that this is not all about some expensive, politically correct, green act of bunny hugging, or however you want to put it, there’s nothing wrong with bunny hugging.

‘What I’m driving at is this is about growth and jobs, and I think the President (Biden) was absolutely right to stress that. We can build back better from this pandemic by building back greener.’

The two-day US-led summit also heard from leaders of major economies including China, Japan, Russia, Canada, India and Australia.

The Prime Minister made the remarks as he addressed Joe Biden’s virtual gathering of world leaders, at which the president vowed to halve US emissions by 2030.

What Boris Johnson’s green targets mean for YOUR life and wallet 

Target – Cut meat and dairy consumption by a fifth over the next decade 

Impact – Someone who has meat for every three meals could only do this twice a week under the new plans.

Similarly, the average Briton would need to shave a fifth of the average milk consumption down to 16ml a day – or roughly three teaspoons.

Target – Ban new fossil-fuelled cars – including hybrids – by 2033 

Impact – The average cost of buying a new electric car in the UK is £44,000, according to industry figures.  

Target – Ban the sale of oil-fired boilers by 2028 and gas boilers by 2033; require all homes to be insulated

Impact – Energy efficiency measures – such as improving insulation and installing low carbon boilers – could cost £10,000 per home. 

Target – Stop expanding UK airport capacity and impose a frequent flyer levy with the aim of reducing the number of flights by 15%

Impact – The average Briton currently takes 10 foreign holidays every five years, which would need to reduce to around 8. This is the equivalent of around three foreign holidays every two years. 

As part of diplomatic efforts in the lead up to the summit, the US and China issued a statement pledging to work together and with other countries on the issue.   

Among the countries bringing forward new targets were Japan, whose prime minister Yoshihide Suga said its target would be a 46 per cent cut on 2013 levels, compared to an earlier 26 per cent goal, with efforts to push the reduction as high as 50 per cent.

Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau announced his country’s new target of slashing carbon emissions by 40 per cent to 45 per cent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels, saying it was ‘on track to blow past’ the old target of a 30 per cent cut.

The European Union has agreed a new climate law which includes a goal to cut its emissions by 55 per cent by 2030 on 1990 levels.

Mr Johnson set out the UK’s moves to cut greenhouse gases by 78 per cent by 2035.

‘As host of Cop26 we want to see similar ambitions around the world, we are working with everybody from the smallest nations to the biggest emitters to secure commitments that will keep change to within 1.5C,’ he said.

‘I think we can do it, to do it we need scientists in all of our countries to work together to produce the technological solutions that humanity is going to need,’ he said, pointing to technology to store carbon and cheap hydrogen.

He added: ‘It will mean the richest nations coming together and exceeding the 100 billion US dollar commitment that they already made in 2009’ to support developing countries, stressing how important that was.

It comes ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November.  

President Biden told the summit it could help build a more prosperous, equitable society, stressing the jobs that could be created.

‘The signs are unmistakeable, the science is undeniable. The cost of inaction keeps mounting.

‘The United States isn’t waiting, we are resolving to take action, not only our federal government but our cities and our states all across our country, small business, large corporations, American workers in every field,’ he said.

He said the US only represented 15 per cent of the world’s emissions and that no nation can solve the crisis on its own.   

‘All of us, particularly those who represent the world’s largest economies, we have to step up.

‘Those that do take action and make bold investments in their people, in clean energy futures, will win the good jobs of tomorrow and make their economies more resilient and more competitive.’

Countries have been expected to come forward with more ambitious plans up to 2030, known as nationally determined contributions (NDC) in the Paris deal, ahead of Cop26 in November.

That is because existing plans are not enough to meet countries’ commitments under the Paris deal to curb global temperature rises to ‘well below’ 2C above pre-industrial levels – or 1.5C if possible – and avoid the most dangerous impacts of climate change. 

Chinese president Xi Jinping has called for a ‘people-centred’ approach to the climate crisis.

President Xi said: ‘We must treat nature as our root, respect it, protect it and follow its laws, we should protect nature and preserve the environment like we protect our eyes.

‘Second, we must be committed to green development – green mountains are gold mountains, to protect the environment is to protect productivity and to boost the environment is to boost productivity.

‘The truth is as simple as that.’

He added: ‘We must be committed to a people-centred approach, the environment concerns the wellbeing of people in all countries, we need to take into full account people’s desire for a better quality of life and good environment as well as our responsibility for future generations.’  

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