Monday 17 July 2023 12pm
The INEOS site at Grangemouth has been hit by a third successive day of sustained protests when an anonymous group projected: "INEOS: Scotland's Worst Polluter" and "Resist and Renew" on to the cooling towers of one of INEOS' power stations.
The protest took place during the night and INEOS security apparently failed to intervene.
INEOS' operations in Grangemouth created a staggering 2.4 million tonnes of annual emissions when last counted by SEPA (1).
The gas-fired power station, which is supposedly "high security", was occupied by a group of people for 7 hours on Saturday.
Jacinda Rattle was one of the four who occupied the power station on Saturday. She said:
“Direct action can spread a culture of resistance and discontent with fossil fuels. Repeated direct action becomes such a problem for an industry that they have to shut down production.”
Jamie Cliff was also one of the four, and associated with the climate camp:
“This is a giant site run by a tax avoiding billionaire who's gone to war with his workers, is poisoning the local community and producing not just one but a variety of planet-destroying products.
"If we can’t expect politicians and businesses to do what they need to do to address climate and ecological breakdown, then there’s only us left. Our action proves that we can get a culture of mass resistance and show that the emperor has no clothes.”
Earlier on Saturday, a larger group of hundreds of people marched to the fence of INEOS Grangemouth. They were met by Police Scotland who defended INEOS property and attempted to cordon-in the protest despite participants sticking to pavements, and arrested nine people.
That march began in Kinneil this morning, where people from the local community and across the world have been participating in a five day 'climate camp'.
On Friday a group from the climate camp also kayaked into the waters beneath the INEOS oil terminal at Hound Point, with one entering the terminal itself holding a banner reading "INEOS: profiting from poverty and pollution". (2)
Pictures of all the protests and the climate camp are available at the link below.
Kenny Alexander was a petrochemicals worker for 35 years, grew up in Grangemouth and supports the protests. He said:
"INEOS' Jim Ratcliffe is a multi-billionaire and the transfer of public wealth into a massive private swag bag is eye watering. While this country that he says he cares about is in massive debt he lives on super yachts in Monaco escaping tax!
"I had a heating bill in the winter one month £600 while I could see Ratcliffe refinery lit up like New York. He doesn’t pay a heating bill he exploits ours, an abuse of power akin to the highland clearances for the population around Grangemouth. Our bills go up while he lives the high life.
"The Industrial Revolution started this pollution but we have the knowledge and solution a non-violent green revolution. Transition must start now and should start here. Lets be world leaders on tackling global warming."
The environmental protection agency has issued INEOS with multiple fines for safety breaches and premature deaths in Grangemouth town are significantly higher than the national average. (3)
Despite the urgent need to end the burning of fossil fuels INEOS is planning a new fossil-gas powered plant to manufacture hydrogen which would create yet more pollution. (4)
INEOS announced profits of £474 million last year at a time when residents living around the INEOS works struggled with spiralling food and gas bills. (5) Instead of investing in green jobs or the local community, billionaire owner Jim Ratcliffe is using his spare cash to buy football club Manchester United and INEOS have refused to participate in a Parliamentary inquiry about transition at Grangemouth (6).
Climate camp organisers say that Grangemouth could be renewed with well-paid jobs in sustainable industries, but the shift must be led by people, not big business. The camp's programme of talks and workshops concludes on Monday. (7)
NOTES TO EDITORS
Photos of all the protests and the camp are available at:
1. Four of the top 20 climate polluters in Scotland are INEOS owned installations in Grangemouth: https://theferret.scot/rogues-gallery-climate-polluters-top-20-revealed/
2. INEOS oil terminal occupied to highlight £474 million profit from pollution: https://www.climatecampscotland.com/post/ineos-oil-terminal-occupied-to-highligh-474-million-profit-from-pollution-press-release
3. Safety and health sources:
Ineos fined £400,000 over Grangemouth gas leak - BBC:
INEOS oil terminal occupied to highlight £474 million profit from pollution:
Local health impacts, see page 9, Falkirk Council Report on Grangemouth town:
4. INEOS plans to manufacture hydrogen using fossil fuels:
5. 'Billionaire Brexiter’s energy giant Ineos nets £474m profit thanks to soaring prices' - The Guardian:
6. Petrochemical giant Ineos snubs Scottish Government net zero committee refusing to 'go on the record' - Falkirk Herald
7. Climate Camp programme and guide PDF: