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Young climate activists took to the stage on Thursday to interupt Royal Dutch Shell CEO, Ben van Beurden, at the TED Countdown conference in Edinburgh.
Activists say they raised concerns with TED Countdown organisers believing that a fossil fuel company, like Shell, has no place speaking at the event.
But their calls were ignored and van Beurden was given a speaking slot on the main stage.
Outraged by the inclusion of Shell, activisits disrupted the panel alongside Edinburgh locals organising a protest in front of the conference centre.
They said that Shell had a role in the murder of activists and that the company had caused sufferings.
They then walked in front of the stage holding banners with the phrase “No future in fossil fuels” and proceeded to walk out.
Francesca, Stop Cambo Campaigner (a bid to stop the UK Government from drilling new oil from the North Sea), said: “It is clear Shell has no real commitment to reducing its emissions, and allowing them a platform at TED Countdown is nothing more than another opportunity for greenwashing the fossil fuel industry.
“Fossil fuel companies, of any kind, should not be welcomed at events that claim to focus on climate justice. It is disrespectful to frontline activists – many of whom were not invited to this event.
“Van Beurden’s inclusion as a speaker suggests that these companies are part of the solution, but they are not.”
Shell, is an Anglo-Dutch multinational oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague in the Netherlands.
Shell, alongside Siccar Point Energy, is seeking permission to develop the Cambo oil field, West of Shetland, which is expected to extract up to 170 million barrels of oil – the emissions equivalent of 18 coal-fired power plants running for a year.
Activisits says Shell has a role in the severe pollution that still harms over 40,000 people in The Niger Delta, numerous health issues experienced by those in the surrounding areas of the Mossmorran natural gas plant in Scotland, and environmental degradation around the world.
Daze, Climate Justice Activist and Creative Director, said: “My family is from the Niger Delta, and I know the harm Shell has caused and continues to cause by pushing us closer and closer to climate devastation.
“This action is the youth saying enough is enough, asking the hard questions and demanding answers.
“We need Shell to commit to stopping the future harm caused by projects like the Cambo oil field, but also addressing the past harm like the murder of Indigenous activists. Without this, Shell is not part of the future we need.”
Bryce, Scottish Activist and Organiser, said: “Where I live in Mossmorran we are directly suffering from the effects of Shell’s pollution. Now we are allowing the man responsible for contaminating the air in my hometown the privilege of sitting in an air-conditioned hall, and talking about the future.”