Coal and oil

Since the industrial revolution, humankind has been burning vast amounts of the carbon locked up in fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) and releasing it into the atmosphere as CO2 - the main 'heat trapping' gas that causes climate change. If we burn all the remaining reserves of fossil fuels we are gauranteed to bring about the catastrophic destabilisation of our climate. We need to leave fossil fuels in the ground but instead we are finding yet more new or 'unconventional' fossil fuels such as tar sands and shale gas...

For Actions on Coal see here. For Tar Sands update see here. For Keystone Pipeline update see here.

Mass Call Out: Down with Dirty Oil Diplomacy - November 20th

Organised by UK Tar Sands Network

On NOVEMBER 20TH at Canada House, Trafalgar Square, oil executives, bankers and dirty diplomats will be gathering to plot and scheme about how to expand the tar sands industry and turn Canada into an energy superpower.


The Canadian government continues to try and promote itself as a human rights loving, tree-hugging government in an effort to keep peddling its highly-polluting petroleum. We can't let this carry on under our noses.

The Canadian government has wiped out its own environmental laws, is trampling on First Nations' rights, and seems hell-bent on extracting every last drop of tar by whatever means necessary. Dirty diplomats have been deployed all over the EU to undermine climate legislation which would make Europe off-limits to tar sands exports. Tar sands extraction is devastating vital ecosystems, threatening the lives of communities and pushing us into catastrophic climate change.

Join us at 8:00 AM on NOVEMBER 20TH at the bottom of the steps of the NATIONAL GALLERY. This protest will be most effective if lots of people arrive on time and are prepared to stay for a while, so please be prompt and be prepared to stick around for as long as you can. However, if you can only come late or for a short period that's fine too, we still want you there! 

If you are a theatrical type, email to get involved in a surprise pop-up performance which will also happen on the day. 
More on

Supported by UK Tar Sands Network, London Rising Tide, People & Planet, Climate Justice Collective, Climate Rush and Occupy Energy, Environment and Equity Group


Direct action at the Coal face: take back the Land!

For details of the Take Back the Land!  event on 12-18 July in the Douglas Valley, South Lanarkshire,   (building on 20 years of community struggle and four years of direct action) see the website of  Coal Action Scotland  
 Coal Action Scotland says "Opencast coal mining in the Douglas Valley is about the ruling class destroying communities for their own financial gain. It’s about ecological destruction on a massive scale for capitalism’s unquenchable thirst for cheap energy. It’s about absentee fat-cat land-lords making millions off land that shouldn’t be theirs. It’s about morally corrupt local (and national) government putting profit before people."



Petition to cut fossil fuel subsidies

In just a few weeks, world leaders are converging on Rio for a landmark "Earth Summit" to talk about sustainability issues -- but it's time for them to stop talking and start doing. And we know where they can begin.

This year our governments will hand nearly hundreds of billions of dollars in government subsidies to the coal, gas, and oil industries. Instead, they should cut them off. Now.
Cutting fossil fuel subsidies could actually take a giant step towards solving the climate crisis: phasing out these subsidies would prevent gigatonnes of carbon emissions and help make clean energy cheaper than fossil fuels.
Subsidy Fail

Sign the petition here.  

Update - Tar sands in the EU

On 23 February EU member states voted on whether to effectively block tar sands oil from EU transport fuel through the Fuel Quality Directive by recognising that its greenhouse gas emissions are significantly higher than other forms of emissions. The UK Government's track record in the run up to this vote was worrying, seeming to prioritise the interests of BP, Shell and the Canadian government over the need to avoid catastrophic climate destabilisation. (described in an article in the Guardian and on the Greenpeace website).

After pressure from campaigners, the UK abstained rather than vote against the proposals. Because there was not a three-quarters majority either way, the vote ended in stalemate and European ministers will have to take a decision in a few months. Watch here for updates.

Update - Keystone XL

The Keystone XL pipeline would transport oil from the Alberta tar sands in Canada to American refineries at the Gulf of Mexico. Its construction would lead to around 1 billion tons CO2 emissions from tar sands extraction. President Obama has rejected the proposed route for the pipeline but stopped short of vetoing it altogether because of its climate change impact. The decision was a triumph for those in the US who took part in mass civil disobedience to protest about the pipeline, but Republicans continue to try and overturn Obama's decision.

Read more about the pipeline and tar sands.


Shale Gas 

The new technique of "hydraulic fracturing" or "fracking" for gas trapped in shale rock is causing major pollution and attracting a storm of opposition in the USA. Now "fracking" is coming to the UK, with Cuadrilla Resources claiming to have discovered reserves of 5.6 trillion cubic metres of gas under the Lancashire coast. The Campaign against Climate Change is at the forefront of the fight to stop this extreme exploitation of fossil fuels.

Latest news on the Shale Gas campaign


Action update: Huntingdon Lane 
In August 2011, protesters at the Defend Huntingdon Lane Camp in Telford were evicted after 18 months defying UK Coal. Planning permission for a massive opencast coal mine was given by central government in 2009. When finished 900,000 tons of coal will have been extracted from the mine which will result in more than 2,430,000 tonnes of CO2 being released.  

Action update: Measham opencast coal mine
Leicestershire County Council has given plannning permission for an opencast coal mine in Measham.

Past events

The Great Climate Swoop
17th-18th October 2009

 The climate swoop was a well-attended event, with approximately 1,000 people present on Saturday, many of which stayed the night in the woods. Our bloc, called Footsteps to the Future was loud and lively (helped no end by the bike sound system) and we marched from East Midlands Parkway station to the gate of the station where we stayed for a bit, snacking and listening to speeches.

Then the march resumed, down the road (with the humungous coal pile on our left) onto the bridge where we could peacefully observe the fence which other blocs were trying desperately to pull down! There we stayed for a while, eating flapjacks, playing a giant version of paper-rock-scissors and dancing to the sound system (rather appreciated by a police officer who joined in from the pavement!) until it started getting dark and cold, at which point most people went back to the station to get transport home.

A camp complete with warming fire was set up in the woods nearby, where the majority of those that stayed slept for the night. Sunday was less eventful than Saturday, with a few people launching an unsuccessful attempt at getting a fence down before everyone got escorted back to the station where minibuses and trains took demonstrators back home.

We've uploaded some photos here.

Anti-Coal Vigil , 14 September 2009 


The public consultation on Kingsnorth closed on Wednesday the 9th of September. To remind Ed Miliband, then Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, how we all feel about unabated coal power we had an evening vigil outside Ed's Department of Energy and Climate Change.

At 4.30pm on Monday 14th September, we gathered outside the DECC building in London. The demonstration featured supporters from across the Stop Climate Chaos coalition, representing the wide range of public opposition to climate-wrecking dirty coal power. 

The "Mili-band"
4 July 2009

More than a thousand people surrounded Kingsnorth power station in Kent - to demand "No New Coal". And thats No New Coal unless it has 100% CCS from the start! CCS should not on any account be used as an excuse to build new coal-fired power stations untill it has been demonstrated as fully workable - thats able to remove 100% of CO2 pollution from the start! See below.

Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband invited people to mobilise to demand action on climate change so this is just what happened. On Saturday July 4, a thousand people came together to form the "the Mili-band" which was a human chain surrounding Kingsnorth power station in Kent., to renew our demand (see below) that no new new coal-fired power plant is built here unless it has CCS working at 100% (or very close) from the start.

Full Solutions not Half Solutions 
30 April 2009 

This demonstration outside Downing Street featured 2 messages for the government - one on a green poster to congratulate them on banning new unabated coal-fired power stations, the other on a carbon-black one - to demand that they go the whole way and ban new coal without 100% carbon capture and storage.

March from Rochester to Kingsnorth  
3 August 2008

Hundreds gathered in Rochester for a rally in the high street followed by a 7 mile march to Kingsnorth power station, to demand NO NEW COAL - and no new coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth. This was a great showpiece event to help launch the Camp for Climate Action and emphasise the critical importance of the decision over Kingsnorth and the need to stop and reverse the expansion of coal-burning for power around the world. The march was joined by the Climate Camp "caravan" which had spent the previous week making its way from Heathrow, the site of last year's climate camp.

Fossil Fools Day  
1 April 2008

On 'Fossil Fools Day', the Campaign against Climate Change joined People and Planet in exposing the foolery of building a new coal-fired power plant at Kingsnorth and reverting to dinosaur coal technology just when we urgently need to reduce emissions. The demonstration started in Parliament Square before moving on to the London offices of Argent Group PLC who are behind the UK's biggest opencast coal mine at Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales.