Police have arrived on the scene after climate change activists Extinction Rebellion have sprayed fake blood on the Treasury to protest against the government’s funding of projects that contribute to climate change.
Police are responding to activists, part of an international group, who are attempting to raise awareness about the government’s investment on fossil fuel exploration and carbon-intensive projects. They are spraying 1,800 litres of fake blood from a disused fire engine to make the government department take notice of their concerns and are holding a banner that says: “Stop funding climate death”.
According to the Guardian, in 2018 the Treasury spent £2bn on fossil fuel projects overseas, an eleven-fold increase on 2017. Extinction Rebellion said that these projects lock developing countries into “decades of high-carbon dependency”, creating climate issues.
Meanwhile, Greta Thunberg has said that international targets to limit carbon emissions have come too late to mitigate against the effects of climate change.
Diana Warner, one of the activists taking part in the action said: “The situation around global heating and environmental destruction is so urgent that I am risking imprisonment. I consider what I am doing now with Extinction Rebellion to be more important than any other work I have done as a doctor and mother.”
Another, Mark Ovland added: “Right now it may not seem as though there’s a world outside of the UK, the EU, and Brexit. But such a world exists and it is fast being destroyed, not least by the reckless decisions being made within this building for short-term gains”.
Extinction Rebellion’s action comes before the movement will start an International Rebellion next week in 60 world cities to drum up support for climate change activism. Previously, they have been involved in the world’s largest international climate strikes.
Next week, they will also begin their “shut down Westminster” in an attempt to make government ministers take responsibility for their roles in the climate crisis.
Whether the government responds to this latest pressure remains to be seen.