DIRECT ACTION SHUTS DOWN DIRTY DRAX

This morning, campaigners from social and environmental justice group, Reclaim the Power, took direct action across London and Lincolnshire against energy company, Drax, and their work to build a new gas power station in the midst of a climate crisis.

Activists stopped construction in Lincolnshire, at the construction site of a new gas power station, scaling cranes at the new Keadby 2 gas power plant run by SSE (formerly Scottish and Southern Energy plc). The site is shut down, with both entrances blocked and activists occupying two cranes, stopping work on the new plant, the only on that is currently under construction in the UK.  SSE have plans to develop more gas power stations, supported heavily by government subsidies. SSE is one of the dirtiest energy suppliers in the UK: 65% of the energy they sell comes from polluting gas.

Meanwhile, hundreds of activists gathered at Drax’s offices in London, dressed in white boiler suits and with a four-metre high model gas tower. They are protesting Drax’s proposed new gas plant in Yorkshire, which would be responsible for as much as 75% of the emissions budget for the entire UK power sector. The newly-installed Energy Secretary, Andrea Leadsom, is due to make a decision on the proposal by October. To stay within national legally-binding climate targets, there is no room for any additional fossil fuel infrastructure in the UK.

Additionally, activists also targeted branches of Deloitte who provide audit services to the gas industry, and Barclays, who provide banking for Drax and have financial investments within the fracking industry. More actions are expected throughout the day.

Campaigner Ellie Groves is at the Keadby site, where direct action is currently underway. She said:

“New gas spells climate disaster, that’s why we’re here today at Keadby. Temperatures hit 38 degrees in the UK last week, and extreme weather is already devastating many parts of the world. We’re standing with the people most impacted by the climate crisis.

“Polluting gas power stations like Keadby line the pockets of Big Six energy bosses at our expense. We need clean, cheap, community-controlled renewable power.”

Speaking from the Drax protest in London, Milo Phillips said:

“The government’s promises to act on climate change are meaningless while dirty gas power stations are still being built.

“Drax’s gas plant in North Yorkshire would be the largest gas power station ever built in the UK. Drax and Keadby are the first in a possible wave of a new generation of dirty mega projects, built to pollute for decades.”

“Today we’re sending a clear message. We can’t afford any new climate-wrecking gas plants.”

Despite the ongoing and misleading industry claims, new research shows that additional gas capacity is not necessary for the UK’s energy supply – the surging development of renewable energy is directly replacing old coal. Further actions against the gas industry are expected today, as part of Reclaim the Power’s Power Beyond Borders occupation camp in Essex.