Truss: Insulate Britain are not heroes and give environmentalism 'a bad name'

1 November 2021, 09:47

By Sophie Barnett

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has hit out at Insulate Britain and Extinction Rebellion, claiming the disruptive protesters are "not the heroes" of environmentalism but instead give the movement a "bad name".

The recently-appointed foreign secretary was quizzed on LBC after Greta Thunberg said it is acceptable to "hack" people off during eco-protests, as long as no one gets hurt.

"I don't agree with Greta Thunberg at all about that," the minister told Nick on Monday.

"The fact is these people, like Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain, who disrupt people going to work, who disrupt our lives, are not the heroes of the environmental movement, it's actually the people who work in places like Derbyshire developing small, modular nuclear reactors to help clean energy.

"It's these people who we should be supporting and I deprecate those who try and stop other people going to work, who disrupt everyday life in Britain.

"They are not helping, they are just giving environmentalism a bad name."

Read more: ‘Irresponsible crusties’: Boris Johnson lays into eco protesters bringing misery to roads

Read more: Govt secures first nationwide injunction against 'reckless and disruptive' eco mob

In recent weeks, activists from Insulate Britain have caused misery for drivers during rush-hour as they blocked the M25, the entrance to the port of Dover, and a number of other key routes.

Protesters have glued themselves to the road in order to stop traffic and have clashed with furious drivers, as they called on the government to take action and insulate Britain's homes.

Last week, the government took out a nationwide injunction against protesters, which means those who breach the ban will be in contempt of court and at risk of imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine.

However, protesters have returned to the roads in breach of the injunctions taken out against them.

The discussion about the two protest groups comes ahead of the COP26 summit, where world leaders will come together to discuss their actions to address the climate crisis.

Mrs Truss, who is also the minister for women and equalities, said the summit should see "more commitments from countries" to reduce their carbon emissions by 2030.

"We should see more financial commitments about how we are going to help reforestation across the world where forests have been chopped down. We are going to see more commitments to see how we can help smaller countries adapt to climate change and put in necessary measures."

The Prime Minister and Sir David Attenborough will be among those delivering speeches at COP26's opening ceremony this afternoon.