As well as supporting Extinction Rebellion’s national demands, we are also acting on local issues in our area:
Horse Hill, Horley: Say No to New Oil Wells
Horse Hill, near Horley, is an oil production site currently with two wells. UK Oil & Gas Plc (UKOG) have planning permission to drill four new oil wells and one well to dispose of contaminated waste water.
They say they could produce more than 500 tonnes of oil a day. For 25 years. This is clearly incompatible with the need to phase out fossil fuel use and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
Read more about the plans that have been approved, on the Drill or Drop website.
We do not accept that this expansion of oil drilling should go ahead. Surrey County Council declared a Climate emergency in 2019, and giving approval to fossil fuel expansion at Horse Hill goes against this. One rebel has been fighting this in the courts, with the backing of the Weald Action Group, XR Reigate and Redhill and numerous other local groups and local residents. She has got permission to argue her case in the Supreme Court, and it is likely to be heard in 2023. Read more about the Supreme Court appeal.
Join our regular Faith at the Gate event, or Walk the Shale Trail with us on 1 October 2022 – details of both are on the Events page.
We are also calling on Surrey County Council to amend its minerals planning policy to reflect the new reality of imminent climate breakdown.
Surrey Pension Fund: Divest from Fossil Fuels
Surrey Pension Fund, which manages the retirement savings of Council and other public sector workers across Surrey, has £145 million directly invested in the fossil fuel industry. Some of this money is invested in the most damaging forms of fossil fuels, including tar sands.
Campaigners have challenged Surrey Pension Fund repeatedly at their meetings to ‘divest’ – get rid of – these investments. But while the Pension Fund has moved some of its funds into low carbon technologies, it has actually increased the money it has in fossil fuel extraction.
The Surrey Pension Fund Trustees say they ‘engage’ with companies involved in fossil fuel extraction. There is no evidence of this engagement having any effect in reducing exploitation of fossil fuels.
Across the UK, and globally, the divestment movement is growing. At least 13 councils have now divested from fossil fuels. In July 2019, the National Trust announced it will stop investing oil, gas and mining companies by 2022, because they are not doing more to combat climate change. The Trust currently has £45 million worth of fossil fuel investments.
We are calling on the Surrey Pension Fund to withdraw all its investments in fossil fuels.
Stop Gatwick Expansion
The owners of Gatwick Airport want to increase flights from 285,000 a year to 390,000 a year. That is an extra 23.9 million passengers a year. The carbon emissions from the airport will reach a projected one million tonnes by 2050 (source Aviation Environment Federation).
Extinction Rebellion (XR) Clear Skies is a network of XR groups and individuals taking action to get airport to cut flights and also to encourage the public to reduce the number of flights they take by increasing awareness of the climate emergency.
If you want more information on how to get involved, visit the XR Clear Skies Facebook Page.
We must stop these plans going ahead.