ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners have blocked Downing Street by locking themselves to a 12ft tall oil-splattered statue of the Prime Minister in protest at the Cambo oil field.

Greenpeace activists said the stunt was part of a bid to urge Boris Johnson to end the UK’s reliance on oil, to protect consumers, workers and the climate.

Protesters kitted out in red "Stop Cambo" jackets and bobble hats were pictured outside the gates of Downing Street in London surrounded by barrels of oil on Monday morning.

In the middle, a stone effect statue of Johnson dripping in oil sits on top of a barrel, with a plaque which reads “Cambo oil field: Boris Johnson’s monumental climate failure” sitting at his feet.

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The National:

Greenpeace activists outside of Downing Street ©Suzanne Plunkett/Greenpeace

The Cambo oil field is 125km north-west of the Shetland Islands and is believed to contain over 800 million barrels of oil

Experts at the International Energy Agency (IEA) have warned that to meet the goals of the Paris agreement there can be no new fossil fuel projects beyond those already underway this year.

Philip Evans, oil campaigner for Greenpeace UK, said: “People across the UK are feeling the stresses of a gas price crisis as well as a climate crisis, and the government acknowledges that our reliance on fossil fuels has left the UK vulnerable and exposed. People are right to feel angry and upset.

“Johnson’s failure to act has left us with petrol queues, energy companies going bust, offshore workers unemployed for months on end, and a deepening climate crisis.

“Johnson must stop Cambo, and instead prioritise a just transition to renewable energy to protect consumers, workers and the climate from future shocks.

The National:

The activists locked themselves to the base of the statue of Johnson covered in oil ©Suzanne Plunkett/Greenpeace

“If he doesn’t, he will be remembered as a monumental climate failure.”

It comes weeks before COP26, the global climate talks due to be held in Glasgow from 31 October to 12 November.

The Cambo proposals have been met with fierce opposition, and have become a battleground for environmentalists ahead of the climate talks.

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If the UK goes ahead with Cambo, Greenpeace says it faces being politically isolated.

When asked about Cambo, US climate envoy, John Kerry, said “We need to transition in the next 10 years, not extend”.

Labour leader Keir Starmer has said the government should refuse the drilling permit.

We previously told how Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called on Johnson to “reassess” the Cambo plans.

And the Scottish Greens have said the licence should be completely revoked

The National:

The protesters outside of Downing Street chained themselves to prop barrels of oil ©Suzanne Plunkett/Greenpeace

And, in September Friends of the Earth (FoE) Scotland called out the UK Government for “misleading” the public over claims it has no power over the decision to reject the Cambo proposals.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have frequently said that the authority to approve a license for the oil field is with the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) and it “cannot intervene”.

READ MORE: Energy crisis: Treasury denies talks with Kwasi Kwarteng

The National:

A plaque sits at the feet of the 'statue' of Johnson ©Suzanne Plunkett/Greenpeace

However, FoE Scotland and campaign group Uplift say that this is wrong and that the UK Government does have the power to stop the “new and damaging fossil fuel development”.

FoE Scotland and campaign group Uplift have threatened to take the government to court for downplaying its role in the permit process.

A government spokesperson said: “As we have said before, the right to protest is a fundamental principle of our democracy but we will not tolerate tactics that obstruct people going about their day-to-day business.

“We are absolutely committed to tackling climate change, cutting emissions faster than any G7 country over the past three decades, while powering forward with delivering the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan.

“While we are backing the UK’s oil and gas industry’s transition to Net Zero through our landmark North Sea Transition Deal, it is the case that there will be ongoing demand for oil and gas while we ramp up renewable energy capacity, as the independent Committee on Climate Change itself recognises.”

Meanwhile Greenpeace has written to the government threatening legal action if Cambo is approved.

The protest comes less than a week after Greenpeace lost its legal bid to have a North Sea oil permit revoked in Scotland’s highest civil court.