TED countdown conference: Climate activists storm stage during talk with Shell boss

Climate activists disrupted an event at the TED Countdown conference in Edinburgh during a panel discussion with the CEO of Royal Dutch Shell.

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Youth climate activists took the stage during a talk with Ben van Beurden, amid claims that a fossil fuel company should not have been involved in the event.

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Despite calls from activists to remove van Beurden from the panel, he was allowed to retain his speaking slot on the main stage.

Protesters held banners in front of the stage.

It comes as protests were made in front of the conference centre.

Activists walked in front of the stage holding banners with the phrase “No future in fossil fuels”.

Francesca, Stop Cambo Campaigner said: “It is clear Shell has no real commitment to reducing its emissions, and allowing them a platform at TED Countdown is nothing more than another opportunity for greenwashing the fossil fuel industry.

"Fossil fuel companies, of any kind, should not be welcomed at events that claim to focus on climate justice. It is disrespectful to frontline activists - many of whom were not invited to this event and are unable to attend COP26 due to vaccine apartheid - as their communities are directly harmed by the decisions of these CEOs.

"Van Beurden’s inclusion as a speaker suggests that these companies are part of the solution, but they are not. They should be held accountable for their crimes against humanity and be dismantled, replaced by a just transition that centres frontline communities, workers, and voices of those who are most affected by climate breakdown.”

Shell is the largest Europe-based oil and gas company, and alongside Siccar Point Energy, is also actively seeking permission to develop the Cambo oil field, West of Shetland, which is expected to extract up to 170 million barrels of oil - the emissions equivalent of 18 coal-fired power plants running for a year.

Bryce, Scottish Activist and Organiser, said: “Where I live in Mossmorran we are directly suffering from the effects of Shell’s pollution. Now we are allowing the man responsible for contaminating the air in my hometown the privilege of sitting in an air-conditioned hall, and talking about the future.”

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