Five people arrested after climate protesters climb on roof at Ineos oil refinery


Five people have been arrested after environmental activists climbed onto a roof at the Ineos oil refinery in Grangemouth, near Falkirk.

Four protesters clambered onto the roof of the Ineos gas power station, which powers the oil refinery. and held up a banner which read “Climate Justice for Grangemouth” on Saturday (July 15) afternoon.  Earlier, about 200 people marched to the fence of the Ineos plant from a climate camp approximately a mile away.

Police said they engaged with the group who climbed onto the roof and they were safely removed, with no arrests made.  However, five people were arrested in connection with alleged offences including breach of the peace.

Activists are holding a five-day 'Festival of Resistance' climate camp, said to be Scotland’s biggest protest encampment in a decade, at Kinneil Park in nearby Bo’ness.  Ineos said it operates a “safe sustainable business” and meets its climate responsibilities.

Jessica Gaitan Johannesson, of Climate Camp Scotland, said: “We’re here because while Ineos makes hundreds of millions in profit each year, the people of Grangemouth pay the price with their health; workers pay with their job security; and all of us with the collapse of our climate.

“We can build truly sustainable communities, but we must be led by those whose lives are most at risk, locally and globally.  We do not accept sky high bills, polluted air and a collapsing climate.

“This energy system is failing us, but Scotland and Grangemouth can transition to sustainable industry and greater equality. We’re here to drive that change together.”

Police were at the scene at the refinery on Saturday. Assistant Chief Constable Emma Bond said: “This afternoon, a small group of protesters climbed onto the roof at Ineos. Officers engaged with the group and they were later safely removed. No arrests were made and inquiries into the incident are ongoing.

“In total, following the protest in Grangemouth, five people were arrested for offences under Section 12 Public Order Act, Breach of the Peace and section 13 Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995.

“Decisions about how to police protests require us to balance complex and often competing rights and issues. We have a legal duty to protect the rights of people who wish to peacefully protest or counter-protest.  

“Our priority is public safety and we worked closely with partners ahead of the planned event to ensure a comprehensive policing plan was in place to maintain people’s safety, enable peaceful protest and minimise disruption.”

The climate camp opened on Wednesday evening.  Climate activists claim that combined emissions from the Ineos gas power station and the oil refinery it powers make it Scotland’s most polluting site, creating 2.4 million tonnes of annual emissions according to figures it analysed from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa).

In a statement earlier in the week, Ineos said: “Ineos is one of the last remaining large-scale manufacturing companies in Scotland.  We provide many of the basic raw materials that are essential to many of the products that we all use on a daily basis, from mobile phones, to water and gas pipes, to medical products, cars, buses and trains, tents, waterproofs and training shoes.

“Even wind turbines and solar cells need the products made here by thousands of skilled workers.  We are committed to delivering these products safely and maintaining thousands of direct and indirect jobs, while working towards being a net-zero manufacturer by 2045.

“And we are making good progress, significantly reducing the emissions from our operations.  Since buying the Grangemouth site, Ineos has already reduced emissions by nearly 40%.

“Our next step, to use hydrogen and carbon capture via the Acorn project, will make our reduction greater than 65%. Our road map beyond this will reduce this further to net zero by 2045.”

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