Two British Olympians joined a protest staged by Extinction Rebellion activists at what is described as the UK’s largest oil refinery in Hampshire.
It is being reported that around 15 protesters arrived at the site at Fawley early in the morning today.
The group included sailor Laura Baldwin and canoe slalom gold medallist Etienne Stott.
Mr Stott said: “Today I am protesting to expose how ExxonMobil are investing heavily to expand fossil fuel extraction when we need to be doing the opposite.
“And their expert greenwash machine is in full swing to convince us that they are not actually maximising profit whilst our planet burns.”
The climate campaign group said: “The refinery at Fawley is already the UK’s largest, producing 270,000 barrels a day crude oil. But despite the warnings, the Paris Agreement, COP26, the UK is letting ExxonMobil expand to increase by 40%.”
The protest comes just a few hours before the UK hosts the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow.
‘’Our focus includes reducing our emissions, helping consumers reduce their emissions and developing lower emission energy solutions, including energy efficiency initiatives, biofuels, flare reduction and carbon capture and storage.
‘’At Fawley, we are also directly helping motorists and farmers to reduce their emissions through the manufacturing of lower carbon fuels and we are also producing the lubricants and chemicals that support lower emissions by use across a range of applications such as wind turbines and electric vehicles.
“Furthermore, our chemicals play a vital role in our daily lives from medical equipment to clothing, cleaning materials and healthcare products.
‘’We respect the right to peaceful protest, but our priority is the safety of our people, our neighbours and our operations and we are working with Hampshire Police to ensure this is maintained.
“ExxonMobil Fawley continues to operate safely and is not experiencing any impact on production.”
“We apologise to anyone from the local community or beyond experiencing any inconvenience resulting from the actions at Fawley today of this group.’’