Protesters stage climate camp calling for chemical plant to be shut down

·2 min read

More than 150 people have taken part in a protest camp outside a chemical plant in Fife calling for it to be shut down.

Climate Camp Scotland organised the two-day protest at the Mossmorran site near Cowdenbeath over the weekend.

They want the plant to be closed and for a just transition away from fossil fuels to provide green jobs for affected workers.

The protest follows community campaigns against flaring at the plant, which recently reopened following a £140 million upgrade aimed at cutting flaring.

Flaring at Fife chemical plant
Previous flaring at the Mossmorran chemical plant in Fife (Emma O’Neill/PA)

Bryce Goodall, a campaigner with local pressure group Actions Speak Louder than Words, was among those taking part.

He said: “The Mossmorran Action Weekend has been truly incredible.

“We have united people in our local community, from across Scotland, and internationally in solidarity and support for climate justice.

“This weekend we listened to community concerns and empowered and skilled up our movement ready to mobilise further in achieving a just transition for the workers and communities around Mossmorran and internationally.”

Mossmorran petrochemical refinery protest
Climate activists demonstrating at the protest (Jane Barlow/PA)

Mim Black, an activist with Climate Camp Scotland, said: “Protest and dissent is vital to democracy, to challenging power and making the world a better place.

“After over a year in lockdown, the climate crisis has only gotten more drastic. This weekend was an opportunity to regroup and get ready for a huge year of climate action, because those in power seem unable or unwilling to do what is right.”

Operators of the Fife Ethylene Plant (FEP), ExxonMobil, said in a statement: “ExxonMobil believes that climate change risks warrant action and it’s going to take all of us – business, governments and consumers – to make meaningful progress.

“Our focus includes reducing our emissions, helping consumers reduce their emissions, and developing lower-emission energy solutions, including energy efficiency initiatives, biofuels, flare reduction and carbon capture and storage (CCS).”

Mossmorran
Activists brought banners and placards (Jane Barlow/PA)

Their spokesman said the firm is “committed to making our operations much quieter and less visible through significant investment at FEP”, including the recent upgrade.

He added: “The Mossmorran facility is integral to Scotland’s energy supply, meeting the needs of communities nationwide.

“Furthermore, FEP directly supports the manufacturing supply chain for important products such as medical supplies, electric vehicle parts and food packaging.”

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