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Greenpeace Drapes British PM’s Mansion in Oil Cloth to Protest Oil Drilling

By Belal Awad · August 3, 2023

In brief…

  • Greenpeace activists staged a demonstration at British PM Sunak's home following the government's decision to grant 100 new oil licenses.
  • The activists scaled the building, covering its windows with a large curtain of "oily-black fabric" in opposition to the government's pro-fossil fuel policies.
  • The protest was in response to Sunak's announcement to "max out" North Sea oil drilling, which climate advocates have widely criticized.
Protesters scaled the British PM's mansion and draped it in "oily black fabric" to protest wave of new oil licenses  Greenpeace

In a move to protest the UK government’s decision to grant 100 new oil-drillig licenses, Greenpeace activists scaled Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s North Yorkshire mansion and draped the stately home with a giant curtain of “oily-black fabric.”

It is one of may protests launched by environmental activists in response to Sanuk’s fossil-fuel-friendly policies.

The North Yorkshire protest, captured on video and posted on Youtube, comes in the wake of Sunak’s announcement earlier this week of his government plan to “max out” energy exploration in the North Sea, with at least 100 new oil and gas licenses to be granted later this year. The decision has sparked widespread criticism from climate advocates, opposition parties, as well as leading green conservatives, who fear Sunak’s program will hamper the UK’s long-standing commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Philip Evans, a Greenpeace UK climate campaigner, voiced his concerns, saying, “We desperately need our prime minister to be a climate leader, not a climate arsonist. Just as wildfires and floods wreck homes and lives around the world, Sunak is committing to a massive expansion of oil and gas drilling.”

Despite the backlash, Downing Street stuck to its drill-baby-drill-baby” guns. A No. 10 source stated, “We make no apology for taking the right approach to ensure our energy security, using the resources we have here at home, so we are never reliant on aggressors like Putin for our energy. We are also investing in renewables. Our approach supports thousands of British jobs.”

Some Parliament members and commentators denounced the black-cloth-wielding protesters, insisting that private homes of public figures should be off limits to protesters.

The Greenpeace demonstration took place while Mr. Sunak and his family were away on holiday in California. North Yorkshire police quickly responded to the incident, which it soon had under control. Police reported that no one had gained entry to Sunak’s home.