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World News

Oil giant Shell targeted by Christian climate activists in company AGM protests

by Premier Journalist

Activists from Christian Climate Action were among a group of protesters who made an attempt to storm the stage at oil giant Shell's annual shareholder meeting.

Dozens of protesters were escorted out by members of the security team at London's Excel conference centre.

Protesters had consistently got up to chant songs and slogans against the major producer of carbon pollutants, oil and gas.

"Shut down Shell," protesters repeatedly chanted, interrupting company chair Sir Andrew Mackenzie and other board members as they addressed shareholders in the room.

Outside, 30 members of Christian Climate Action staged a prayer vigil and sang together, whilst holding up banners reading ‘No Faith in Fossil Fuels’ and ‘Your Greed is Killing Humanity’.

“We’ve been praying for the conversion of the fossil fuel companies. These are the principalities and powers of our age but they are run by human beings with hearts and souls as well as minds who are not beyond redemption”, commented Ruth Jarman, mother-of-three and Christian Climate Action supporter.

“As I sang, I was praying for the dangerous entity that is Shell to go to hell but for the board of Shell to repent and to spend the rest of their lives redressing the immense damage they have caused, she said.”

According to Extinction Rebellion, protestors also stood up in the AGM to make impromptu speeches, giving examples of damage that they say Shell has caused and delivering messages from individuals on the front lines of climate breakdown.

A spokesperson for Shell oil criticised the disruption: "We respect people's right to express their point of view and welcome any constructive engagement on our strategy and the energy transition.

"However, yet again protestors have shown that they are not interested in constructive engagement”.

But barrister Melanie Nazareth said the vigil and protest were justified: “As a Christian I am commanded to love my neighbour, and the climate change that Shell is deliberately fuelling in pursuit of ever increasing profits is killing my vulnerable sisters and brothers in places like Africa.  I cannot be a bystander in the face of such injustice”.

Sister Kate Midgely was also outside the building taking part in the vigil: “I’m here to pray that all who work for Shell will have a moment of awakening and a profound change of mind and heart. As Pope Francis has said 'From God's hands we have received a garden we cannot leave a desert to our children.'"

Christian Climate Action members have staged other protests over the past month, including at AGMs for three banks – Barclays, HSBC and Lloyds, where they called for an end to their funding of fossil fuel extraction projects.


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