Oily money out!

IssueDecember 2023 - January 2024
News by Rosie

On 17 October, Shell CEO Wael Sawan was unable to get into a major oil and gas conference in London because activists were blockading the luxury hotel hosting the event. Sawan was forced to deliver his keynote speech online instead. We shut the Oil & Money summit down!

This was the result of Fossil Free London’s biggest mobilisation to date: ‘Oily Money Out.’ As the biggest names in the fossil fuel industry, banking and politics gathered for the exclusive Oil & Money summit (it tried to rebrand itself as the ‘Energy Intelligence Forum’ last year), we brought together groups from across the UK and Europe to shut it down – and to demand something different.

Over a busy week, hundreds of us ate, learnt, protested and laughed together. We ran three days of workshops covering a range of issues in climate, economic and social justice.

Then, for three whole days, we protested outside not only the Oil and Money conference itself, but also outside the London headquarters of other oily offenders like Total, JP Morgan Chase, Barclays and Standard Bank.

We saw the Oil & Money conference as a stark example of oily money corrupting our politics and societies. Fossil fuel corporations have spent millions lobbying our politicians and striking deals in spaces like these, to rig the system in their favour and delay climate action, allowing them to exacerbate and profit from the climate and cost of living crisis.

People are suffering right now, as our energy bills and global temperatures soar and wages stagnate; one in four children in the UK now live in poverty, and a third of Pakistan was flooded last year, killing thousands. Yet, fossil fuel profits are breaking records.