CLIMATE activists have launched a sit-in at a UK Government building in Edinburgh as part of a bid to stop a huge oil field project going ahead.

The Cambo oil field, co-owned by Siccar Point Energy and Shell, is due to start drilling in 2022 if granted given permission by the Oil and Gas Authority.

At just after 7.30am this morning (Monday) 12 campaigners entered Queen Elizabeth House on Sibbald Walk, Edinburgh, and blocked the main entrance by sitting and lying down in front of security barriers.

A further 10 demonstrators blocked the main door and held placards with phrases including “More green jobs! No new oil!” and “Stop Cambo”.

READ MORE: Cambo oil field: What does it mean for climate targets?

The protestors told The National they have no intention of moving and want to “expose the UK Government’s hypocrisy” allowing the oil field to go into production during a climate crisis.

The Cambo project plans to start by drilling for 170 million barrels of oil – equivalent to the annual pollution from 18 coal-fired power stations.

The issue has caused outrage amongst environmentalists, as the International Energy Agency (IEA) has said that to meet the 1.5C target in the Paris Agreement, there should be no more development of new oil, gas, or coal.

The National: Protestors outside Queen Elizabeth House in Edinburgh. Credit: Jessica Kleczka

The National:

Activists also blocked the main door to the UK Gov building. Credit: Jessica Kleczka

Mikaela Loach, a fourth year medical student and climate justice activist, told The National that security guards at the building were “shocked” and activists will stay on site as long as they possibly can.

The 23-year-old said: “We arrived at around 7.40am, around the time when the building opened, 12 people got in and sat down in front of the barriers so people couldn’t get in that way.

“There were also 10 of us outside with placards making sure people couldn’t get in that way either.

READ MORE: Cambo oil field: 'Resolutely reject' Shetland field UK told

“I think the security guard was a bit shocked, but we haven’t had any issues. There is a protest planned for 4pm and those inside intend to stay there for the duration of that protest too.

“They’re going to stay there as long as possible. The police have been here since around 8am.”

With UN climate conference Cop26 due to be held in Glasgow later this year, Loach said that the group’s goal was to stop the oil field going ahead before the event kicks off.

The National:

Mikaela Loach has been at the protest in Edinburgh since 7.30am Credit: Jessica Kleczka

The National:

A dozen protestors are currently taking part in the sit-in. Credit: Jessica Kleczka

She said: “We want the UK Government to stop the Cambo oil field, the IEA [International Environment Agency] has said that there should be no more oil and gas exploration or we risk going over 1.5C and that would mean total collapse.

“It’s completely hypocritical of the UK Government to go ahead with this.

“It’s a kick in the face for everyone. According to polls most people want a green transition into a green society and future, so we won’t let them get away with it.

READ MORE: Cambo oil field: Scottish Greens call UK an 'embarrassment'

“With Cop26 around the corner we want to expose the UK Government’s hypocrisy on a huge scale.

“If we manage to stop Cambo before Cop26 then it would be a huge win for all of us.”

Scott Tully, 29-year-old activist from Glasgow Calls Out Polluters, said: "To approve the Cambo oil field would be an act of wilful climate criminality from the UK Government.

The National:

The activists blocked the main entrance to the building. Credit: Jessica Kleczka

The National:

Protestors want oil and gas exploration to stop completely. Credit: Jessica Kleczka

“This would also be utterly irreconcilable with the demands of hosting Cop26.

“The UK cannot talk a big game on global climate ambition whilst sheepishly bending to the planet-wrecking agendas of big polluters like Shell."

If the Cambo field manages to reach its 51,000 boe/day (barrels of oil equivalent per day) as it intends to, it would make it the fifth biggest producer on the UK Continental shelf.

READ MORE: Cambo oil field: Thousands sign petition to stop Shetland oil project

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Police are currently in attendance on Sibbald Walk, Edinburgh and are engaging with a group of peaceful protesters gathered within the UK Government building.”

A UK Government spokeswoman added: “Following an incident this morning at Queen Elizabeth House in Edinburgh we are working with the police to ensure everyone’s safety.

“Currently the vast majority of UK Government civil servants continue to work from home, as they have done throughout the pandemic. This means our services are unaffected by today’s activity.”