Climate campaigners will march through Edinburgh today (16 /9/ 23) to demand the UK and Scottish Governments develop a plan for a fair and fast transition away from fossil fuels.

The protestors are demanding action to phase out oil and gas in the UK including a halt to controversial projects like the Rosebank oil field and a new gas-fired power station in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire.

Organisers say there must be a fair and fast transition for the workers and the communities most affected by the move away from fossil fuels and these people should be at the heart of planning this transition to ensure it meets their needs.

Free to use, press quality photos available throughout Saturday at: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1BRXlj02BjeF_69jH6kfSf_Cq93n1oQKe

The march is one of 400 actions taking place around the world with millions of people involved this weekend ahead of a UN Climate Ambition Summit of world leaders in New York next week.

Scientists, energy experts and climate campaigners agree that there must be no new investment in oil, gas or coal anywhere if the world is to limit further climate breakdown. Despite this the UK Government wants to “max out” new North Sea oil and gas and grant over 100 new licences for further oil and gas exploration.

The march is organised by a coalition of groups including Edinburgh Climate Coalition, Friends of the Earth Scotland, Fridays for Future, Climate Justice Coalition, War on Want, Extinction Rebellion Edinburgh, Scot.E3, Greenpeace Edinburgh and Youth in Resistance.

“We can win this shared fight”

Steve Gray, a delegate of Aberdeen Trades Union Council who will speak at the rally after the march said,

“Aberdeen Trades Union Council welcomes the opportunity to march in solidarity with the climate justice movement and thanks everyone for their support for a just transition for workers employed by the fossil fuel industries.

“The tragic deaths caused by the Stonehaven trail derailment during a storm showed the devastating impacts of a changing climate. Aberdeen Trades Union Council, alongside our STUC allies, recognise that we cannot allow these hazards to multiply and threaten our communities.

“All our gains from free school education to votes for working people and equal pay for women have been won through collective struggles. We can once again win this shared fight and secure decent jobs for people building climate resilient communities in Scotland and around the world.”

Lucia Harrington, Lead Organiser of Fuel Poverty Action who campaign for insulated homes and clean, affordable energy for all commented,

“Our households’ resources, and the earth’s resources, are being exploited by the profiteering fossil fuel industry, and this is driving fuel poverty and climate disaster. “

“One of the leading causes of the cost of living crisis was that fossil fuel powered energy companies were allowed to make record profits at the expense of millions of people who are forced to go without heating, hot water and electricity.

“We need a just transition now to an energy system that works for people and the planet. Many workers in the fossil fuel industry want to be part of this transition without losing their jobs and falling into fuel poverty.”

Politicians are failing to deliver a just transition

Friends of the Earth Scotland’s oil and gas campaigner Freya Aitchison said,

“Millions of people will be in the streets around the world because politicians are failing to deliver the fast and fair transition away from the fossil fuels that are fuelling climate breakdown.

“The near daily climate disasters we are witnessing from Libya, to Greece to China are driven by the burning of fossil fuels yet politicians are still cheerleading for fossil fuel companies. Rishi Sunak’s plan to ‘max out’ oil and gas will maximise climate destruction while the Scottish Government is considering approving a new gas plant at Peterhead in Aberdeenshire which will lock us into burning fossil fuels for decades to come.”

“Marchers in Edinburgh are calling for a properly planned transition away from oil and gas which is led by the workers and communities most affected. A credible plan to switch to renewables can deliver huge benefits to people such as more affordable energy, secure green jobs, warm homes and a safe climate.”

Notes to Editors

Photos from End Fossil Fuels actions across the UK will be added throughout Saturday https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1BRXlj02BjeF_69jH6kfSf_Cq93n1oQKe

The Edinburgh march against fossil fuels will meet at The Mound in Edinburgh city centre at 11am on Saturday 16 September.

Details of the 600+ global mobilisations on September 15-17

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak vows to ‘max out’ fossil fuel production in UK. The Guardian (July 2023)

SSE have applied to build an additional fossil fuelled power station at the Peterhead site. They have admitted the two plants will increase emissions overall. The Scottish Government has the power to reject the proposal which risks locking Scotland into fossil fuel use for decades to come.

‘New Peterhead gas plant could run at same time as old, energy giant admits’ The Ferret (March 2023)

Friends of the Earth Scotland is:
* Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation
* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 73 national member groups, and 5,000 local activist groups.

Edinburgh Climate Coalition are a local hub for the UK-wide Climate Justice Coalition Coalition

Fridays for Future Scotland is a group of passionate, determined, young people demanding climate justice from the Scottish government. Friday for Future Scotland organise school strikes and protests in cities all over Scotland.