Climate Camp Scotland are an autonomous group organising nationally against fossil fuels and for climate justice in Scotland.
To prevent the expansion of Scotland's oil & gas industry and ultimately shut it down.
To see a just transition for workers in the fossil fuel industry.
To build bridges between workers, front-line communities, and the climate movement.
To normalise mass direct action for climate justice.
Solidarity with workers and communities in Scotland and across the world impacted by fossil fuels and the climate crisis.
Migrant rights, open borders and the payment of climate reparations.
Replacing inequality and corporate greed with common ownership and social justice.
Challenging ableism, racism, patriarchy and transphobia; for the dignity of people of all ages, classes, genders and sexualities.
Breaking down barriers that stop marginalised people from participating, valuing different levels of participation, and looking after people.
Organising to limit and challenge hierarchies of power whilst ensuring accountability.
Promoting peaceful methods for change whilst challenging the police and the criminal justice system.
Taking up space
Scotland has a strong tradition of using protest camps to block serious environmental harm. In the 1979 the fields South of Dunbar were occupied to protest against the construction of Torness nuclear power station. The Peace Camp at Helensburgh was first established in 1982 and has been taking regular direct action at the gates of the Faslane nuclear base ever since. And in 2002 the anti-by-pass Bilston Glen camp was established in Midlothian.
Such tactics were first used against the fossil fuel industry in Scotland in 2009 at ‘Climate Camp Scotland’. Held at Mainshill Wood, South Lanarkshire, the camp bolstered the struggle to stop the site being dug for open cast coal. Mainshill Wood was occupied for most of the year, and likely contributed to the eventual collapse of Scottish Coal (read about the occupation in their excellent zine).
While Scottish activists were living in the trees in Lanarkshire, climate campers in England, who’d had a series of successful camps targeting coal power plants and Heathrow Airport, were drawing up plans to hit fossil fuel financiers for their 2010 camp. Their chosen target was RBS Gogarburn, Edinburgh, and so this became the last ‘UK’ climate camp.
Following the demise of coal the gas industry and fracking emerged as the next threat. ‘Reclaim the Power’ rose to fill the gap left by Climate Camp UK, and a Scottish chapter organised for several years in Edinburgh.
In 2015 ‘Climate Action Scotland’ was formed as a loose network for people to train and organise climate direct action. It organised transport to Reclaim the Power actions in England, where attendees formed Scottish affinity groups (End Coal Now, 2016; Big Blockade, 2017; Power Beyond Borders, 2019) and held a handful of successful actions of its own including invading the offices of Oil and Gas UK in Aberdeen (2016), disrupting the BP AGM (2019) and taking over a dinner of the Scottish Oil Club (also 2019). The network was closely aligned with ‘Fossil Free Glasgow’, which in 2020 became ‘Glasgow Calls Out Polluters’. Active Climate Action Scotland members helped found the new Climate Camp Scotland collective and agreed to formally merge the groups in 2020.
In late 2018 Extinction Rebellion meetings were organised across Scotland responding to a call put out originally by English activists to create disruption through mass arrest in order to get the UK Government to commit to make dramatic carbon cuts and organise citizens assemblies. Throughout 2018 and 2019 thousands of people took part in road blocks, occupations, event disruptions, creative protests and a camp outside the Scottish Parliament. Extinction Rebellion Scotland was formed in early 2019 when local Scottish chapters came together to organise actions on the Scottish government and the oil industry, seeking to speak with a more distinctive voice from Extinction Rebellion’s HQ in England, including on matters of race and anti-capitalism. A number of Extinction Rebellion groups help found and formally endorse Climate Camp Scotland upon, as well as pledging to take part in the camp itself.
Climate Camp Scotland began forming during the wild summer of 2019, when the youth strikes and extinction rebellions were at their peak. Climate protest and direct action was burning bright, and with COP26 then announced to be taking place in our wee country, the call to do something ambitious, truly radical and game-changing was strong. Those who helped draw up the initial aims of Climate Camp Scotland saw the Camp as an opportunity to bring people together to take radical action in a way that would inspire and renew a radical political agenda too.
Climate Camp Scotland’s first big meeting took place in Glasgow in February 2020, promoted by Extinction Rebellion Scotland and Climate Action Scotland. Once Mossmorran was chosen as the camp’s focus, the Mossmorran Action Group and Actions Speak Louder than Words took on key roles leading the campaign.
Following the postponement of 2020’s plans due to Covid, Climate Camp Scotland protested outside SEPA offices across the country, ran a sponsored cycle to Mossmorran in aid of MORE and took disruptive actions remotely during the worst of the pandemic.
The pandemic made fully realising our high ambitions tough, but Climate Camp Scotland continued plotting and in 2021 we held a fantastic two-day protest camp at the 'Mossmorran Action Weekend' where over 100 people shared food, ideas and took action against the Exxon/Shell plant at Mossmorran, Fife.
We took a step back during COP26 in Glasgow to recharge our batteries and allow other groups to lead the movement. We invite you to struggle with us as we seek to totally dismantle Scotland’s fossil fuel industry and to bring about a global just transition through caring collective action.