Extinction Rebellion blockade Buncefield oil depot

PUBLISHED: 11:12 28 August 2020 | UPDATED: 11:12 28 August 2020

Extinction Rebellion are protesting outside the Hemel Hempstead Buncefield site today. Picture: XR

Extinction Rebellion are protesting outside the Hemel Hempstead Buncefield site today. Picture: XR

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Extinction Rebellion (XR) climate activists have today blocked access to the Buncefield oil depot, near Hemel Hempstead.

Extinction Rebellion are protesting outside the Hemel Hempstead Buncefield site today. Picture: XRExtinction Rebellion are protesting outside the Hemel Hempstead Buncefield site today. Picture: XR

Six activists are lying down outside the site access road, and are using lockon devices to prevent them from being moved.

They are supported by around 20 other activists, holding banners and placards. The group arrived at 10am and plan to remain in place until 4pm.

Buncefield depot, one of the largest in the UK, stores and supplies hundreds of millions of litres of fuel per year. It was the site of Europe’s largest peacetime explosion in 2005, with flames hundreds of feet high, and a smoke plume visible from space. Buncefield was rebuilt despite strong objections from local businesses and the community.

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Craig Scudder of Harpenden said: “Our government has set a target of net zero emissions by 2050. Science tells us that is totally inadequate. By ignoring the science, our government is failing in its most basic duty - to protect citizens.”

Nigel Harvey of St Albans said: “Every litre of fuel produces some 2.5Kg of CO2. Buncefield has a storage capacity of 65 million litres. The carbon footprint of this site is appallingly high. The only way we are going to address the climate emergency, is to rapidly reduce our use of the fuels stored at Buncefield.”

Another activist, Sue Hampton of Berkhamsted added “We can already see the impact of the climate emergency in the UK. Heatwaves, droughts, and flooding are becoming ever more frequent. And this is just the beginning – it will get much worse.”

Activists are using relevant PPE and social distancing as appropriate to help ensure Covid-19 compliance.

Members of XR from across the country will be joining actions taking place in London, Cardiff and Manchester from September 1st. They are demanding that Parliament enacts the proposed Climate and Ecological Emergency bill, which would place a legally binding requirement on government to take immediate action on the climate.

The Buncefield depot is one of the largest of its kind in the UK. Underground pipelines supplying aviation fuel connect Buncefield to Gatwick and Heathrow airports.


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