XR Oxford Newsletter – March 2024

XR actions this year are already bearing fruit. Our participation in Insure Our Future week has brought Zurich to negotiate, and we will continue to pressure the insurance industry to act appropriately in the face of the greatest of all risks. Join us on April 8th to hear from a XRUK speaker on what else we hope to achieve this year, and how you can be part of it.

Diary Dates

  • Wed 20 March, 12-1:30pm: Silent Sitting at Barclays Bank Cornmarket Oxford (Barclays Bank, Cornmarket)
  • Sat 23 March, 12-2pm: Stop Rosebank protest and outreach in Oxford (Cornmarket)
  • Sat 23 March, 5:30pm: Phantom Parrot screening with Q&A (Phoenix Picturehouse)
  • Thu 28 March, 7:30-9pm: XR Oxford Action Circle Meeting (Online)
  • Wed 3 April, 12-1:30pm: Silent Sitting at Barclays Bank Cornmarket Oxford (Barclays Bank, Cornmarket)
  • Mon 8 April, 6:30-8:45pm: All Rebels Meeting (Tidmarsh Hall, New Road Baptist Church)
  • Sat 13 April, 2:30-4:30pm: Oxford Climate Choir monthly rehearsal (South Oxford Community Centre)

Get Active

All Rebels Meeting – 8th April

XR Oxford has been hard at work, but it’s been a long time since we have brought all the affinity groups together in one room. In April we will be gathering again, for both business and pleasure. Please join us, whether you’ve been rebelling for years or have just joined.

Venue: Upstairs room – Tidmarsh Hall, at the New Road Baptist Church, OX1 1LQ
6.30 to 7.15pm: Social – Bring food to share.
7.15 to 8.45pm: Speaker from XR UK Actions Circle on the latest UK Actions Strategy, updates on XR Oxford, small groups and Q&A.

Stop Rosebank – 23rd March

After a break last month to join Insure Our Future week, we will be resuming our monthly Stop Rosebank action in Cornmarket on Saturday from 12-2pm. We’ve had a great response from the public, and will be making sure the message is heard loud and clear by our MPs.

Community Events

Phantom Parrot Screening

If British police ask for the password to your phone or computer, you must hand it over to them in accordance with an anti-terror law that came into force prior to 9/11. When human rights activist Muhammad Rabbani refuses and is prosecuted, a journalist is able to uncover documents proving the existence of a top-secret surveillance programme, codenamed Phantom Parrot, designed to copy the personal data of individuals at airports and border crossings. And from there, the dominoes start falling in all directions in a dark detective film about technology, surveillance and structural racism in a time where knowledge might still equal power but where data is even better.

There will be a special screening at the Phoenix Picturehouse with a Q&A featuring guests including Muhammad Rabbani and director Kate Stonehill on Saturday March 23rd, 5:30pm. Book tickets here.

XR Oxford Newsletter – February 2024

If the insurance industry continues to underwrite fossil fuel expansion the world will be uninsurable and unrecognisable within 50 years.

Nora Scheel, Campaigns Manager for Campax

This month XR will be joining a coalition of groups worldwide to target insurers of fossil fuel projects, telling them that continuing to do so is incompatible with a liveable future. Join us in family-friendly actions in Oxford, London, and Chipping Norton – all the details are below.

Diary Dates

  • Wed 21 February, 12-1:30pm: Silent Sitting at Barclays Bank Cornmarket Oxford (Barclays Bank, Cornmarket)
  • Thu 22 February, 5-7pm: Oxford SU Climate Assembly. Non-students welcome (Oxford Town Hall)
  • Thu 22 February, 7-8:30pm: Biofuels talk and discussion. Non-students welcome (Oxford Student Union)
  • Sat 24 February, 12-2pm: Insure Our Future protest and outreach in Oxford (Cornmarket)
  • Tue 27 February, 7-9pm: Empowering community energy – Parliamentary reception to promote community energy (Portcullis House, 1 Victoria Embankment, London SW1A 2JR) Email steve.shaw@powerforpeople.org.uk for details
  • Mon 26 – Thu 29 February: Insure Our Future week of action (London)
  • Fri 01 March, 12:30-1:30pm: Insure Our Future – Chipping Norton (Cromwell Park, Banbury Road, Chipping Norton OX7 5DF)
  • Wed 06 March, 12-1:30pm: Silent Sitting at Barclays Bank Cornmarket Oxford (Barclays Bank, Cornmarket)
  • Thu 07 March, 7:30-9pm: XR Oxford Action Circle Meeting (Online, contact xroxfordactions@gmail.com)
  • Sat 09 March, 2:30-4:30pm: Oxford Climate Choir monthly rehearsal (South Oxford Community Centre)
  • Wed 20 March, 12-1:30pm: Silent Sitting at Barclays Bank Cornmarket Oxford (Barclays Bank, Cornmarket)
  • Sat 23 March, 12-2pm: Stop Rosebank protest and outreach in Oxford (Cornmarket)

Get Active

Help needed in Media & Messaging

The media & messaging working group is responsible for communication with the press, internal communications, social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Mastodon), our website, and this newsletter. We are currently very depleted for health reasons and are keen to recruit. If you can help, please email xroxfordcomms@gmail.com – experience is useful but not required.

Insure our Future – Global Week of Action, 24th February-1st March

Why insurance?

What does the global insurance industry have to do with the Climate Crisis? Well, fossil fuel projects need three things to operate: permits, money and insurance.  No insurance, no fossil fuels. It’s that simple.  Insurance companies enable fossil fuel exploitation, which means they also have the power to stop it. And the good news is some of them are already using that power. For example:

  • In January, after months of campaigning, leading global insurers at Lloyds of London announced they would NOT insure the controversial EACOP pipeline, citing environmental and human rights concerns.
  • Rising insurance costs have been one of the main blockers for new oil fields in the UK (Cambo) and Canada (Bay du Nord).

What is the Global Week of Action

From 24th February-3rd March, XR will join a coalition of other groups for a week of action calling on the insurance industry to immediately stop insuring new fossil fuel projects, respect human rights and support a just transition. Details will follow but the basics are:

  • Saturday 24th February –family friendly outreach and action in Oxford city centre.
  • Monday 26th (pm)-Thursday 29th – large scale action in the City of London, focused on the global insurance companies with the worst records. This will include targeted NVDA and more inclusive, large scale marches / rallies, so there will be something for everyone.
  • Friday 1st March – regional / local actions across the UK, including a family-friendly picket of the Zurich office in Chipping Norton.

How can I get involved?

  • Join the big actions in London if you can. If you can only spare one or two days, Tuesday 27th and Wednesday 28th February are the most important.
  • Join these Telegram chats: Insurance Week of Action for more information about the London Actions and Oxfordshire Rebels During Rebellions for coordination with local rebels.
  • If you prefer local action (or can do both!) please support our outreach action in Cornmarket on Saturday 24th February and come to Chipping Norton on Friday 1st March.
  • If you’d like to get involved in planning and organising the local actions, please email xroxfordactions@gmail.com.
  • There will also be Digital Rebellion actions to join from home. Sign up for updates here.

More information about Insure our Future coalition and campaign here.
Information about the XR London actions here.

Campaigning for complete divestment at the Oxfordshire Pension Fund

Fossil Free Oxfordshire has been campaigning for the past 10 years for the complete divestment of the Oxfordshire local government pension fund from fossil fuels. The Oxfordshire County Council Pension Fund Committee, which acts as trustees of the fund, is composed of county councillors. The committee has recently changed to include new Green and Labour councillors from Oxford. This is a good time to lobby the pension fund committee to reach our divestment goal. Can you help us by lobbying the committee members?
Read about Fossil Free Oxfordshire’s campaign here.

News

Stop Rosebank meeting with Anneliese Dodds

Since the decision in September last year to greenlight the Rosebank oilfield, XR Oxford has been on the streets regularly to protest against it. The protests have included a letter to local MPs, which members of the public have been eager to sign.

Having collected around 200 signatures, three of us met with Anneliese Dodds, MP for Oxford East, on 26 January to present her with the letter and signatures, and to discuss Labour’s position on Rosebank.

The meeting was friendly and constructive. Anneliese confirmed that a Labour government would be committed to £28 billion annual investment in green jobs by the second half of the Parliament (subject to fiscal rules), though six days later this commitment was, infuriatingly,  withdrawn by the party. She also confirmed Labour would not grant any new North Sea fossil fuel licences. However, she was very clear that Labour saw cancelling already-awarded licences as too harmful: legally, financially, and reputationally, and would seek to recoup the damage wreaked on our carbon budgets through action in other areas (no mention of how!)

We asked the following questions:

Has Labour taken legal advice on any decision to announce now that they will cancel Rosebank if elected?
She did not answer this directly but said that contracts must be respected, so that it is clear that Labour would be a responsible government, unlike the present government which has played fast and loose with the law.

We pointed out that Piers Forster, the interim head of the Climate Change Committee, has advised that further licensing is incompatible with climate goals because oil and gas production would exceed its theoretical share of the UK’s 5th and 6th carbon budgets.  If Labour does not cancel the Rosebank licence, how would it get back on track to fulfil its legal duties under the Climate Change Act and the Paris Agreement?
Anneliese said that other policies would have to make up for this. She also said that it was quite possible that less oil would actually be extracted than was projected, and that this had happened with other North Sea oilfields. She was quite clear that there would be no cancelling of existing contracts, even though Labour opposes them and would not have agreed them if they were in power.

Will Labour commit to abolishing subsidies for all fossil fuels?
Anneliese was non-committal, saying that was a decision for the Shadow Chancellor, but said it was an interesting question.

Overall, it was, of course, frustrating to hear that Labour, who are currently in such a strong position, is not prepared to take the kind of stand against climate vandalism that so many of us want to see. But the meeting felt useful nonetheless: it is really important that the government-in-waiting hears regularly from those who support strong climate action.

We mentioned recent polling which suggests that Labour has nothing to lose and more to gain by being bolder on climate policies. We asked for braver political leadership, a willingness to explain and educate the public, and more boldness on the green agenda. Anneliese assured us that we will hear a strong message from Labour. Again, this assurance appears to have been contradicted by the events of subsequent days. We will keep pushing for even stronger action.

If you are a constituent of Oxford East, you can write to Anneliese to express your dismay at Labour’s position at writetothem.com. Protests against Rosebank are ongoing in Oxford and around the country. The next will be on 23rd March from 12-2pm on Cornmarket.

Campaigning for complete divestment at the Oxfordshire Pension Fund

Guest post by Fossil Free Oxfordshire

It has been another year of local floods, escalating climate-related disasters abroad and record breaking global temperatures, and yet fossil fuel companies still explore for new reserves of coal, oil and gas. Wiltshire Council and the Church of England are among many large scale institutions to have recognised the madness of fossil fuel investments and committed to divest.      

Fossil Free Oxfordshire has been campaigning for the past 10 years for the complete divestment of the Oxfordshire local government pension fund from fossil fuels. The Oxfordshire County Council Pension Fund Committee, which acts as trustees of the fund, is composed of county councillors. The committee has recently changed to include new Green and Labour councillors from Oxford.  This is a good time to lobby the pension fund committee to reach our divestment goal.  Can you help us by lobbying the committee members?

You could help out by simply emailing the councillors listed in the table below, or, if you are a constituent of one, by arranging a meeting with the councillor or helping us organize a meeting with them. We will support you in all of these activities (for example accompanying you to a meeting).

We have enclosed a template text for your email at the end of this message. We encourage you to change it and use your own words. (The template requests a meeting which might not be appropriate for you.)

If you send an email please cc and forward replies to Andrew Finney on andrewmartinfinney@gmail.com.  It would be helpful if you could tell Andrew if you live in the ward of one of the councillors listed below or if you manage to arrange a meeting, especially if you would like support to prepare for it, or for one of us to come along with you.

If you are unsure whether you are a constituent of one of the councillors you can check using https://www.writetothem.com/.  It does not matter if you live outside these wards: the more people involved the better! Feel free to write to all the Committee members.

Please contact Andrew if you have any questions or insights.

NamePartyWardEmail address
Bob JohnstonLiberal DemocratKennington & Radleybob.johnston@oxfordshire.gov.uk
Imade EdosomwanLabourLeys, Oxfordimadeuzoma.edosomwan@oxfordshire.gov.uk
Ian MiddletonGreenKidlington Southian.middleton@oxfordshire.gov.uk
Michael O’ConnorLabourUniversity Parks, Oxfordmichael.oconnor@oxfordshire.gov.uk
John HowsonLiberal DemocratSt Margaret’s, Oxfordjohn.howson@oxfordshire.gov.uk

Email Template

Subject: Divesting the Oxfordshire Local Government Pension Scheme

Dear Councillor <Name>,

We have recently experienced local floods and an escalation in international climate-related disasters as a result of burning fossil fuels. We have already exceeded 1.5C degrees warming.  As a result I believe it is incumbent on all elected politicians to do their utmost to tackle this issue.  Your role on Oxfordshire Pension Fund Committee is a major opportunity to play your part.

Whilst there has been some progress to decarbonize the Oxfordshire Pension Fund (OPF) the changes are not occurring at a fast enough pace.  I believe a public commitment to divest the OPF from fossil fuel producers backed by asset reallocation on a 2 year time scale would be more commensurate with the scale and urgency of the climate crisis.  

The OPF has argued that divestment does not bring about change in the wider economy.  Is a policy that does not target the core drivers of climate change – the fossil fuel industry – and ignores the opportunity to make an influential public declaration really the most effective one?  The OPF has also argued that divestment ends the ability to engage with the fossil fuel sector. However, many years of engagement have failed to change the operations of the fossil fuel majors who continue investment in exploration and production in defiance of the recommendations of scientists and even the International Energy Agency.  Major investors such as the Church of England and the PFZW, the pension fund for workers in the Dutch healthcare and welfare sector have decided that engagement is not working and are divesting from Fossil Fuels.

Now is not the time for empty commitments. Effective policy changes to address climate change over the next 2 years at OPF must include the following.

  • The reallocation of funds away from the Global High Alpha fund which contains significant investments in fossil fuel majors.
  • The acceleration of the transition to a FTSE250 fund for UK equities.
  • The adoption of exclusion criteria for Fossil Fuel producers as part of all fund management.

We appreciate the work you are already doing as a member of the Pension Fund Committee.  It is a role with significant responsibility and little recognition.  We are asking that you take time to consider the wider context and the impact that the OPF will have on global heating both in our local community and globally and take action.

I would really like to meet you to discuss this further.  Could we meet online or in person in the next few weeks?

Yours,

<your name>
<your town>
<your postcode>

Actions Next Weekend

Next weekend there are three actions – unfortunately the calendar clash means you won’t be able to make it to all three, but hopefully one will suit you best!

Farnborough Airport – Flying To Extinction

Saturday 27th Jan, 11:00-16:00
Meet at The Meads, GU14 7RT
Speakers from 13:00 at The Ively Gate, GU14 0RP
Facebook event
Telegram Chat

Europe’s busiest private jet hub is looking to expand to allow 40% more capacity, flying in the face of the Paris agreement. Join XRUK and partner groups as we march to the main gate of Farnborough Airport to demand an end to private flights and expansion! This is a family friendly event, please bring your flags & placards with your message to the airport!

Nearest stations are Farnborough Main, Farnborough North and North Camp.

Bring your drums, bells and shakers! Join this Telegram chat for drummers.

Stop Rosebank Protest and Outreach

Let’s keep up the pressure on the government over the new Rosebank oil field, approved last Autumn in spite of overwhelming opposition from experts. A successful campaign forced Shell to pull out of the Cambo oilfield – now let’s STOP ROSEBANK.

We’ll be in Cornmarket 12-2pm on Saturday 27th with a large skeleton and some giant roses, talking to passersby and encouraging them to support the campaign and to join XR. We need people to hold banners and placards and to help with outreach. Bring placards, flags and your voices for chanting!

Greenpeace Project Climate Vote

Greenpeace has launched a bold plan to recruit a million climate voters by the General Election, to influence party policies and drive climate up the political agenda. XR Oxford supports the project, and a few of us have joined doorknocking sessions to collect pledges already.

For the next weekend of action, Greenpeace are organising two sessions: the afternoon of Saturday 27 Jan, and the morning of Sunday 28. Please consider getting involved! The sessions have a great sense of camaraderie (you canvass in pairs), and the response on the doorsteps is very positive.

Before joining a session, you’ll need to do the Greenpeace training (every Wednesday at 6pm – you can sign up here). This will get you set up on the Greenpeace system. We also have a WhatsApp chat for XR people getting involved – if you’d like to be added, email xroxford.tte@gmail.com.

Other Diary Dates This Month

  • Fri 26 January, 3-6pm: My City My Story (Oxford Brookes, Abercrombie Building, Room: AB 201)
  • Sun 04 February, 2:30-4pm: Climate Emotions Workshop (Old Fire Station)
  • Wed 07 February, 12-1:30pm: Silent Sitting at Barclays Bank Cornmarket (Barclays Bank, Cornmarket)
  • Sat 17 February, 2:30-4:30pm: Oxford Climate Choir monthly rehearsal (South Oxford Community Centre)
  • Wed 21 February, 12-1:30pm: Silent Sitting at Barclays Bank Cornmarket (Barclays Bank, Cornmarket)
  • Sat 24 February, 12-2pm: Stop Rosebank protest and outreach (Cornmarket)

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.

News

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.

The COP 28 Climate Conference and the Natural World

As Sir David Attenborough has shown us, we are facing a Nature crisis. We depend on Nature for the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat and the medicines we take. And perhaps more importantly Nature supports our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. But nature is in trouble like never before, and the UK is one of the most nature depleted countries in the world. This Nature crisis is being caused by the climate crisis along with ever-growing consumption.

9th December is ‘nature day’ at COP 28, and governments will be discussing a range of topics including protecting biodiversity, financing nature projects, landscape restoration, and nature-based climate solutions. While we hope they will make progress on all these issues, we all have a part to play too.

Read more about COP 28 here: The COP 28 Climate Conference – Why Does It Matter?

WILL YOU GIVE THE NATURAL WORLD A GIFT THIS CHRISTMAS?

There are lots of things we can all do to make a difference, from small, practical actions to joining a conservation project or taking part in political campaigning.  Will you commit to one of these actions, as a Christmas gift to the natural world?

Small individual actions

  • Cut a hole in your garden fence to let hedgehogs through.
  • Leave a patch of your lawn un-mown next summer.
  • Make an insect hotel.
  • Switch to using Ecosia as your internet browser.
  • Plant some bee and butterfly friendly flowers.
  • Create a birdfeeder – and use seeds, not bread to feed the ducks!
  • Take a litter picker gloves and rubbish bag out on a walk.
  • Start composting at home and reduce fertiliser use in your garden. 
  • Plant a tree.
  • Go for a Christmas nature walk alone or with your family.

Local / practical actions (e.g. conservation volunteering, citizen science)

Political action

The COP 28 Climate Conference – Why Does It Matter?

“Every day of inaction is a day wasted and our vulnerability increases, exposing us to devastating impacts of climate change.”

Gloria, Extinction Rebellion Nigeria

COP 28 is the global climate change conference taking place now in Dubai. This year a global ‘stocktake’ has measured the progress made since the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015.  The world’s scientists say we are not on target and more action is needed.

WHAT DO WE NEED FROM THE COP?

1. No new Fossil Fuels

To keep global temperature within safe limits we need an agreement to slash fossil fuel emissions by 2030. This means:

  • NO NEW OIL OR GAS. Experts, including the International Energy Agency, agree we cannot afford ANY new fossil fuel projects – see this article in Carbon Brief for details.
  • NO TO EACOP (a planned oil pipeline crossing Uganda and Tanzania which would generate over 34m tons of CO2 annually and risk vital water sources for 40m people). There is more information about EACOP here.
  • NO TO ROSEBANK (the biggest oilfield in the North Sea, just approved by the UK government, contrary to all expert advice).  You can find out more about the Rosebank oilfield and the campaign against it here.

2. A fair deal for poorer countries

Poorer countries of the global South have done the least to cause climate breakdown but are experiencing the worst impacts – for example the worst drought in 40 years in East Africa.

This drought is slowly killing everything, first it ‘swept away’ the land and the pastures; then it ‘swept away’ the animals. Soon, it is going to ‘sweep away’ people.”

Mahmoud, Somaliland

Rich countries, including the UK, owe the Global South ‘Climate Debt’ for the greenhouse gases we have emitted over many decades and the climate chaos this has caused. This debt has been estimated at $7.9 trillion per year.

At present, however, money is flowing the other way, as the global South makes loan repayments to the global North of at least $122 billion per year.

Rich countries must repay their climate debt to the Global South. This should take the form of grants, not loans, to enable the global South to adapt, deal with climate catastrophes, and make a fair transition to net zero.

For more information on how these calculations of climate debt were reached, see this article in Nature Sustainability.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

  1. Take action to stop Rosebank (including signing a petition) here.
  2. Take action to oppose the EACOP pipeline here.
  3. Use your vote: pledge to vote with the climate in mind by becoming a Greenpeace Climate Voter. You can sign up here.
  4. Join XR Oxford
  5. Join another campaigning group – e.g. Friends of the Earth or Possible.

A good way to find out more about the climate crisis, and possible solutions, is to watch these programmes shown on Channel 4:

Upcoming Actions

This special edition of the newsletter has updates on all our upcoming actions!

Stop Rosebank

In order to avoid clashing with the Green Fair (where we will have a stall – come say hello!) and the National Demonstration for Palestine, our Stop Rosebank action has been postponed by one day to Sunday 26th November, 12-2pm.

Our government recently approved drilling in the huge Rosebank oil field in the North Sea, in spite of overwhelming opposition from experts. A successful campaign forced Shell to pull out of the Cambo oilfield – now we need to STOP ROSEBANK. Join us on Cornmarket in Oxford City Centre to talk to passersby and encourage them to support the campaign! We need people to hold banners, placards and beautiful giant roses and to help with outreach. Bring placards, flags and your voices for chanting!

COP28

Our actions working group and affinity groups have been hard at work on a plan for multiple actions throughout COP28. We’ll be drawing attention to the hypocrisy of a petro-state hosting a climate conference, which has recently been found to be breaking its own ban on gas flaring, and asking people what they can do to help. Join us on Cornmarket from 12pm on each of these days:

  • Thursday 30th November – opening day, outreach and banners.
  • Saturday 2nd December – drumming and oil pouring with the Canaries (contact canariescoordinator@gmail.com)
  • Tuesday 5th December – outreach with Headington Fringe (contact headingtonfringecoordinator@gmail.com)
  • Wednesday 6th December – silent sit with the Meditators.
  • Saturday 9th December – family friendly with the Geese and Swallows (contact soxgeese@gmail.com)
  • Tuesday 12th December – last day, die-in with messaging on COP outcomes.

Climate Choir

The next Oxford Climate Choir rehearsal has been moved forward to Saturday 2nd December 2.30-4.30pm at South Oxford Community Centre, Lake Street. Join us to sing for a better world! Oxford Climate Choir is part of the growing Climate Choir Movement and takes part in peaceful protest performances in Oxford and elsewhere. This month we will be practising songs for the next Climate Choir action, in the City of London on Monday 4th December. Songs are taught by ear, with music also provided for those who would like it. All are welcome regardless of experience. There is no charge for attending, but we would appreciate a donation of £3 per person to cover room hire.

Winter Social

After all that campaigning, come along and spend some time together on Saturday 9th December, 7:30-10:30pm at Florence Park Community Centre, OX4 3NH. All welcome, whether you’re a seasoned hand or recently joined. No agenda other than being together at the end of another challenging and hardworking year. As we go into the winter, let’s share each other’s company, stories and memories. There will be a bar, and bring and share food.

Online Actions

If you can’t make it to our in-person actions, you can still help by joining one of these campaigns!

Dirty Water Wave 5

Dirty Water Wave 5 has launched. The latest action to confront water companies for destroying our precious rivers is Don’t Pay For Dirty Water.

  • Water companies pour 11 billion litres of raw sewage every year into UK rivers and seas. That’s 350 litres every second.
  • This raw sewage is making us sick. It’s closing our beaches and ruining our rivers.
  • Not one single river in England has received a clean bill of health. The Government will not even meet their own water quality targets.
  • Water companies paid out more than £1.4 billion to shareholders in 2022/23 alone

Why pay for a service you don’t get? Act quickly and with as little risk as possible – they can never cut off your water supply.

Find out how to join the campaign here

Letter to King Charles

King Charles will deliver the opening address to the COP 28 summit, which begins on 30th November. Whatever any of us may think about the limited effectiveness of writing letters, or indeed about the limitations of the COP conference itself, this is undoubtedly an opportunity to influence what our UK ‘head of state’ says to the conference AND to demonstrate to him the strength of feeling among UK citizens about the need for urgent and radical action.

Find all the details in the XR Waverley newsletter.

XR Oxford Newsletter – November 2023

This month has seen more record shattering temperatures, and a King’s Speech which promised to destroy any environmental progress in this country. Extinction Rebellion Oxford has continued our resistance, forcing Equinor to withdraw from the university careers fair, campaigning on Cornmarket Street against Rosebank and Barclays Bank, and reaching out to commuters in Didcot about the coal-mining activities of RWE, owners of Didcot Power Station.

Dates for your Diary

  • Wed 15 November, 7:30-9PM: South Oxford Geese affinity group meeting (New Hinksey) Contact: soxgeese@gmail.com
  • Tue 21 November, 7-9PM: Introduction to Extinction Rebellion Workshop (The Community Works, Makespace Oxford, 21 Park End St, OX1 1HH)
  • Wed 22 November, 12-1:30PM: Silent Sitting at Barclays (Barclays Bank, Cornmarket)
  • Thu 23 November, 7:30-9PM: Headington Fringe AG get-together and action planning (Headington) Contact: headingtonfringecoordinator@gmail.com
  • Fri 24 November, 5:30-7PM: Indigenous Climate Knowledge in Africa and the Need for Global Climate Justice (Lecture Room 1, Blavatnik School of Government, OX2 6GG)
  • Sat 25 November, 12-2PM (tentative): Stop Rosebank protest and outreach in Oxford. Subject to confirmation. (Cornmarket, Oxford)
  • Sat 25 November, 10:30-4PM: Oxford Green Fair (Oxford Town Hall)
  • Tue 28 November, 6-7:30PM: XR Oxford Drummers Newcomer Session (New Marston Pastoral Centre, Jack Straw’s Lane, OX3 0DL)
  • Tue 28 November, 7-9PM: Oxford United for Nature (Wesley Memorial Hall, New Inn Hall Street, OX1 2DH)
  • Wed 29 November, 7:30-9PM: Talks, Training and Engagement working group meeting (Iffley Fields, Oxford) Contact: xroxford.tte@gmail.com
  • 30 November, 2, 5, 6, 9, 12 December, 12-2PM: COP 28 Action and Outreach in Oxford (Cornmarket Street)
  • Sat 9 December, 2:30-4:30PM: Oxford Climate Choir rehearsal (South Oxford Community Centre, Lake Street)

Please check our calendar for the most up-to-date information.

Get Active

Introduction to Extinction Rebellion

Are you new to Extinction Rebellion and curious to know a bit more?

Whether you are a new rebel or someone who has been engaged with XR for a while now, the workshop would be a great opportunity to reflect upon why we do things the way we do. The session covers principles and values guiding our action, our key demands, why we take non-violent direct action, and the different ways in which you could get involved. This is a safe space to reflect, discuss, question, and share.

Come along to this Introduction to Extinction Rebellion Oxford session on Tuesday 21st November from 7-9pm.

COP28

As world leaders gather for this year’s UN Climate Conference, we will be out on the streets of Oxford talking to the public about the COP conference, and especially about the need for climate justice for countries in the Global South, many of which are feeling the most severe impacts of climate breakdown. We’ll also be asking people to think about what they can do, and encouraging them to join us in taking action.

We will be on Cornmarket from 12-2pm on 30th November, then 2nd, 5th, 6th, 9th and 12th December.

Silent Sitting

Please come and join a fortnightly “Silent Sit” at Barclays Bank in Cornmarket as meditators and others, continue to campaign at Barclays about it’s funding of Fossil Fuel companies. Barclays is the biggest fossil fuel funding bank in Europe and the 6th largest funder in the world. With many world temperature records broken in 2023, it is vitally urgent that the use of fossil fuels is dramatically reduced in the short term. If banks cease to offer funding for existing and new fossil fuel projects, then the essential rapid reduction of harmful emissions can begin and our children and grandchildren can look forward to enjoying a liveable climate.

Barclays shows no appetite for significant change in its support of Fossil Fuel companies and so we hope that our quiet meditative presence outside Barclays Bank in Oxford will draw customers and passers-by’s attention to the contribution the activities of Barclays are making to the climate crisis we face. Other “Silent Sits” are being offered at other UK branches of Barclays at various times.

If you would like to come and meditate with us, please bring a placard, a cushion, stool or chair and sit in Cornmarket in quiet contemplative silence for as long as you are able between 12.00 and 13.30 on Wednesday 22nd November and fortnightly thereafter (with a focus on COP28 on 6th December). We would very much welcome others, respecting the quiet space we are trying to create, to engage with passers-by and Barclays customers by handing out leaflets and entering into conversations about Barclays contribution to Global Warming.

News

Extinction Rebellion Statement on Palestine Conflict

Extinction Rebellion UK has made this statement on the conflict in Palestine. The XR Oxford Coordinators Circle endorses this statement, calling for an immediate ceasefire in line with our core value of non-violence. XR respects individuals’ autonomy and right to make their own choices on these issues. Some groups in Oxford working to further this cause include:

Victory against Equinor at Careers Fair

Photo credit: Feng Ho

After we have grown used to resistance or indifference to our actions, it’s a stirring feeling when protest really makes an impact. 

Following the infuriating announcement on 27 September that the government was approving the Rosebank oilfield, the news that Equinor, the Norwegian state oil company that’s one of its major investors, would be exhibiting at the Oxford University STEM careers fair on 14 October seemed like insult added to injury. And an obvious target for protest.

Plans were quickly made and announced to picket the careers fair, asking students not to engage with Equinor’s stand. Then, at the last minute, a sharp-eyed rebel spotted that Equinor no longer featured on the web programme for the event. A phone call (posing as an interested student) confirmed it: Equinor had pulled out, no explanation given. It’s hard to imagine that our plans were nothing to do with this.

Of course, it is not a major victory. Rosebank is not affected, Equinor will doubtless get the recruits it needs in other ways. But we made it clear that the social licence that fossil fuel companies have long enjoyed is coming to an end. However much greenwash they concoct (Equinor claims to want to be “a leading company in the energy transition”), while they ignore the science and exploit fossil fuels, they will not be tolerated.

We decided to protest nonetheless, given that the university careers service is still promoting Equinor and companies like it. Outreachers had some fantastic conversations with students, who for the most part agreed that encouraging them to tie their futures to the obsolete oil and gas industry was totally inappropriate. They expressed a desire for student input on which companies, and kinds of companies, they would actually hope to engage with at these fairs, as well as which should be barred.

Oil company Equinor withdraws from careers fair in success for climate campaigners

Extinction Rebellion claims credit in deterring Equinor from participating in a university careers fair.

Extinction Rebellion, the Samba Band, singers, and associated students protested outside and inside the Exam Schools on the High Street in Oxford 11-1pm on Saturday 14th October, telling students and passers-by attending a careers fair about Equinor and its links to the Rosebank oil and gas field.

Equinor is the corporation which may run the Rosebank oil and gas field if it allowed to open. Equinor says it is “working to advance the energy transition and combat climate change” (from their entry in the event prospectus). In fact: At least 95% of Equinor’s energy comes from fossil fuels. If put into operation, Rosebank would be the largest oil and gas field in the North Sea. The United Nations has said global Climate goals require that NO new oil and gas installations are put into operation.

People were asked to sign a letter to the University Careers Service and the Vice Chancellor asking them to promote only Fossil Free Careers in future (six universities have already committed). People were also encouraged to sign-up to the Stop Rosebank campaign and to XR Oxford, as part of the ‘Cut the Ties to Fossil Fuels’ campaign. More dramatically, there was a die-in at 12 noon outside the Exam Schools.

Ruby Finn comments:

“Since the announcement approving the Rosebank oil field, there have been many protest actions. Rosebank is the largest undeveloped oil field in the North Sea.  It would emit more carbon dioxide equivalent in its lifetime than 700 million people in the world’s poorest countries do annually. The International Energy Agency has said that there can be no new investment in oil, gas and coal.  Oxford University researchers have published extensively on climate change, as well as renewable energy’s potential. Oxford University should not endorse fossil fuel careers which are keeping this industry going despite objections. We have acted today as all universities should resist supporting fossil fuel corporations which amounts to letting them get away with wrecking the students’ futures.”