Greta Thunberg back in London as climate activist targets UK ministers in new protest

Greta Thunberg

The climate activist is protesting against Scottish oil field

Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 28/07/2023

- 16:07

The Swedish activist protested outside of Whitehall today against the development of a Scottish oil field

Greta Thunberg has returned to the UK to protest the UK Government’s reported plans to allow development of an oil field in Scotland.

The world-famous activist protested outside of Grant Shapp’s offices in Whitehall today, demanding that the Government stops the development of the oil field.

Her protest outside the Department for Energy and Net Zero, comes after Thunberg was fined by a Swedish court for disobeying police at an environmental protest at an oil facility last month.

She was fined 2,500kronor, which is about £185.

Greta Thunberg being escorted by police

Thunberg was fined by police in Sweden last month after refusing to move during a protest


Thunberg said in a statement: “How can the British Government even consider pressing ahead with new drilling when we can see what the burning of fossil fuels is doing to the climate and to people?

“The extreme weather events being experienced around the world right now is just a taste of what's to come if we don't get off fossil fuels.

"Given everything that we know and can now see with our own eyes, approving Rosebank would be a deliberately destructive act."

No decision has yet been made on the Rosebank oil field in the North sea, the government is expected to give the development the go-ahead.

Rosebud oil field

The Rosebud oil field in the North Sea which activists are opposing


Over 500 million barrels of oil are expected to be taken from the oil field during its lifetime.

Despite this prediction, the UK Government’s own climate advisers have said that further fossil fuel development would be “utterly unacceptable”.

Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, has agreed to honour any decisions made by the Conservatives regarding Rosebank.

Activist Tori Tsui from the StopRosebank campaign group said: “The damage we are seeing today is so immense that it is unthinkable any government would want to send us further down this path.

"Rich, oil producing countries, like the UK and Norway, must lead and that leadership starts with putting an end to new oil and gas developments. There is no justification on earth for approving Rosebank."

The Department for Energy Security and NetZero’s spokesperson said: "The UK is a trailblazer in its ambitions to reach net zero by 2050 – forging ahead of many other countries and nearly halving emissions since 1990.

"While we respect the right to protest, the transition to non-fossil forms of energy cannot happen overnight and even when we’re net zero, we still need some oil and gas – the industry also significantly boosts the Scottish economy estimated to support around 90,000 jobs."

Thunberg previously had charges brought against herself and other activists from the Reclaim the Future movement in Malmö, Sweden.

They were fined for refusing to obey a police order to disperse after blocking access to an oil terminal on June 19.

The activist admitted to the act but denied guilt, stating that the fight against the fossil fuel industry was a type of self-defence.

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