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Fossil fuel companies offered 'architects of the climate emergency' blue plaques

15 September 2023
UK - Westminster - Fossil fuel companies presented with climate blue plaques

Shell and BP were presented with mock 'blue plaques' to remind the fossil fuel companies how history will judge their contribution to the climate crisis.

A group of campaigners from faith groups have unveiled mock ‘blue plaques’ outside the offices of Shell and BP, pronouncing the fossil fuel companies ‘architects of the climate emergency’.

The unveiling formed part of three days of action, billed as a ‘Global Fight to End Fossil Fuels’, with millions of people expected to take part across multiple continents.

The stunt took place ahead of a UN ‘Climate Ambition Summit’ being convened by Secretary General António Guterres on Wednesday 20 September, with world leaders expected to present updated targets for cutting emissions and moving from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

New fossil fuel projects at odds with global climate goals

Shell and BP are continuing to invest billions of pounds into new oil and gas projects, with both companies’ fossil fuel investments dwarfing their renewable energy portfolios.

International bodies and individuals such as the International Energy Agency, the UN Secretary General and Pope Francis have warned that new fossil fuel projects are incompatible with efforts to keep global temperature rises below the crucial 1.5C level.

'Burning fossil fuels is burning the earth'

Liam Finn, Campaigns Manager at CAFOD, said:

“This is a reminder to Shell and BP of how they will be viewed by history. Fossil fuel companies have known for decades that burning fossil fuels is burning the earth, yet are continuing to profit from the destruction of our climate.

“While these companies are making record profits, communities around the world who have done the least to contribute to the climate crisis are paying the price.”

Dr Shanon Shah, Director of Faith for the Climate, said:

"This is a call for integrity in actions and intentions from Shell and BP. History will judge those who denied and suppressed knowledge about their role in causing the climate crisis, and for lying about their lack of urgent and meaningful action in the present and future, including these companies.

“Shell and BP owe this to those who have done the least to cause the climate crisis but are suffering its worst impacts overwhelmingly because of the fossil fuel industry."

The protest was organised by a number of faith groups, including CAFOD, Jesuit Missions, Faith for the Climate and Christian Climate Action.

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