XR Oxford Newsletter – December 2023

We will not sign our death certificate. We cannot sign on to text that does not have strong commitments on phasing out fossil fuels.

Toeolesulusulu Cedric Schuster, Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States

Another COP, another lost year, while nature tells us louder than ever that there is no time left to end fossil fuels. We have rested over the holiday, and will be back stronger than ever with a new strategy in 2024 (you can give feedback in the Actions Strategy Consultation until January 7th).

Diary Dates

  • Wed 03 January, 12-1:30pm: Silent Sitting at Barclays Bank Cornmarket Oxford (Barclays Bank, Cornmarket)
  • Sun 07 January, 3-4pm: How bad are bananas? (Old Fire Station, George Street)
  • Wed 17 January, 12-1:30pm: Silent Sitting at Barclays Bank Cornmarket Oxford (Barclays Bank, Cornmarket)
  • Sat 27 January, 12-2pm: Stop Rosebank protest and outreach in Oxford (Cornmarket)
  • Sun 4 February, 2:30-4pm: Climate Emotions Workshop (Old Fire Station, George Street)

Get Active

As we have looked on in horror, 2023 has been a landmark year in the climate crisis. Temperature records have tumbled across the globe. Fires, floods, and storms have caused destruction and death around the planet. Make your New Year Resolution to get active fighting climate change. Email xroxfordwelcome@gmail.com if you want to get involved with your local group, or look at some of the other suggestions in our COP28 and the Natural World article.


COP28 – A Lobbyist’s Dream

Even though we have known for decades that fossil fuels need to be kept in the ground, this is the first COP to even mention them in the text of their final agreement. But what’s unbelievable is that when they are finally included in a deal there is no mention of phasing them out which is what the world desperately needs. Instead, we get wishy washy language about ‘moving away’ from fossil fuels which leaves glaring loopholes for business as usual. This feels like just one more piece of paper on the path towards planetary systems collapse.

It’s no surprise that we have ended up here. COP28 was crawling with lobbyists vying to push the interests of oil and gas companies such as Shell, Total and ExxonMobil. These lobbyists outnumbered every country delegation apart from Brazil and the host country, and outnumbered official Indigenous representatives by seven to one – a clear sign that oil and gas industry profits are being prioritised over a sustainable planet and frontline communities.

What we need is a global commitment to a phase-out of fossil fuels. We need the cancellation of debt for developing countries so they can move away from a dependency on fossil fuels, and we need trillions rather than millions to be pledged to cover loss and damage for climate-impacted countries. What we got was stingy financial contributions from wealthy nations and the green light for the fossil fuel industry to continue to drag us towards an unliveable world.

Two weeks of protest

XR Oxford was out on the streets to draw attention to the conference. A striking oil-pouring performance by the Canaries on 2nd December targeted the EACOP pipeline, which is poised to devastate communities and endanger the ecosystem across Africa.

On 6th December, our regular meditation action changed target from Barclays to COP28.

December 9th was Nature Day, so Nellie the Elephant took to the streets, wandering the Christmas Markets. We asked the public what they could give to nature for Christmas, and asked them to add their pledge to our Christmas tree. As always, Nellie was great at drawing attention from the crowd of shoppers.

On December 12th, the final day, we held a die-in in front of the Sheldonian Theatre. One participant commented: “It’s extremely worrying. Anyone who’s got children, or grandchildren, it’s their future. This is happening on our watch, and we do need either stand up and do something, or lie down and protest.”

Watch Finite: The Climate of Change

In Germany, concerned citizens step forward to save an ancient forest from one of Europe’s largest coal mines. They form an unlikely alliance with a frustrated community in rural England who are forced into action to protect their homes from a new opencast coal mine.

FINITE: The Climate of Change is an insider’s view of the world of direct action; a raw, authentic and emotional insight into the David and Goliath battle between frontline communities, activists and fossil fuel corporations.

XR Oxford has screened this striking film locally, and now you can watch it online here.

How bad are bananas?

Sunday 7th January, 3-4pm, The Cafe at the Old Fire Station, George Street, Oxford OX1 2AQ

Come along to our bananas session, peel back the layers, and learn more about carbon footprints. Bring your family and friends along to play the Carbon Footprint Game, based on the book by Mike Berners-Lee. It’s quick, fun, and suitable for anyone aged 9 – 99.

This event is organised by the Climate Collective Oxford which is working to create a climate emergency centre for the city.