Extinction Rebellion activists tip 'coal' outside Lloyd's of London insurance market

23 April 2021, 07:22 | Updated: 23 April 2021, 11:40

Extinction Rebellion activists have tipped ‘coal’ outside Lloyd's of London insurance market
Extinction Rebellion activists have tipped ‘coal’ outside Lloyd's of London insurance market. Picture: Extinction Rebellion
Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

Extinction Rebellion activists have tipped fake coal outside Lloyd's of London insurance market in protest at the planned Cumbria coal mine.

Protesters turned up at around 7am and use a tipper truck to tip the material out onto the floor.

They unveiled a banner which reads 'Lloyd's insures C02lonialism' - in reference to the alleged financial support the insurance offers the fossil fuel industry.

The climate change movement has formed a new specialised group inside the organisation called 'Insurance Rebellion', which aims to disrupt insurance firms that work on major energy projects.

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Harriet, 28, from Insurance Rebellion, said: "Every day that Lloyd’s continues to insure fossil fuel projects we move one step closer to climate breakdown.

"Fossil fuel companies are destroying our planet, causing millions of people’s homes to be flooded, burnt to the ground in wildfires, and reclaimed by rising sea levels.

"We have to stop fossil fuels now before the climate emergency becomes any worse. Fossil fuel companies can’t run without insurance, so let’s stop insuring them."

Protesters have accused Lloyds of London of enabling a "climate breakdown"
Protesters have accused Lloyds of London of enabling a "climate breakdown". Picture: Extinction Rebellion

Two people were arrested for blocking a road during the demonstration.

A City of London Police spokesperson said: "Our officers attended a protest this morning on Lime Street, EC3M. Two people have been arrested for obstructing the highway."

Lloyd’s has come under increasing pressure from climate protesters in several countries to stop its underwriting projects which could cause significant damage to the environment, including a controversial Adani 'mega-mine' in Australia.

Australian Frontline Action on Coal activist Hayley Sestokas said: "Adani is building its mine on stolen land. The Wangan and Jagalingou people have said no to Adani four times.

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"Australia is already the world’s biggest exporter of coal. If the Galilee Basin is opened up, this would double our output at a time when the world desperately needs to move away from coal to curb runaway climate change.

"That’s why people from all over Australia are putting their bodies on the line to resist the building of this mine. Lloyd’s need to stop insuring this deadly project. It’s great to see people taking action in London today."

The market announced in December 2020 that it aims to end new investments in coal, oil sands and Arctic energy by 2022.

It marks the second day of disruptive protests in the financial heart of the capital, with XR protesters yesterday smashing the windows of HSBC's headquarters.

Nine women have now been charged following the incident - including London mayoral candidate Valerie Brown.

They will appear in custody at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on Friday charged with criminal damage.

A Lloyd's spokesperson said: "Lloyd's is committed to accelerating its transition towards a more sustainable insurance and reinsurance marketplace, and has set out specific actions and commitments to align with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

"We are actively involved in constructive engagement on the issue of climate change and continue to explore the ways in which Lloyd’s can support a responsible transition."