Three judges have quashed the prison sentence of the three anti-fracking protestors, ruling the sentence to be “manifestly excessive”. The court room erupted into applause at when the decision was announced.
Simon Blevins, Richard Roberts and Richard Loizou will be walk out free of Preston prison in Lancashire this evening and go home to their families.
The appeal case was heard at the Royal Courts of Justice on Wednesday morning in a packed court room with Blevins, Roberts and Loizou appearing through a video link from Preston prison.
Protestors from three continents gathered outside mining giant BHP’s annual general meeting this morning to demand an end to the company’s environmentally and socially destructive activities.
Environmental campaigners converged on the Royal Courts of Justice in support of an appeal against the “excessive” sentencing of three anti-fracking protestors, warning that the case could set “a dangerous precedent that punishes environmental protestors for their beliefs”.
Dozens of campaigners carrying the red rose of Lancashire gathered in front of the court on Wednesday morning to show their support for the appeal case and denounced the sentencing of the three men as “disproportionate”.
Last month, anti-fracking protestors Simon Blevins, 26, Richard Roberts, 36, and Richard Loizou, 31 were sentenced to 16 and 15 months in prison at Preston Crown Court after being convicted of causing a public nuisance offence. In July, the three men were arrested after they spent between two and four days on top of lorries that were making their way to the Preston New Road fracking site in Lancashire, where Cuadrilla Resources started to frack for shale gas on Monday.
This is the first time campaigners have been jailed in the UK for anti-fracking protests.
HSBC has been accused of “greenwashing” after announcing a new energy policy that fails to rule out financing new coal power plants in three developing countries.
The bank agreed a new policy at its AGM in April, which prohibited providing new financial services to coal power plants, except in Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
Campaigners from Christian Aid have released a new report that criticises the decision to exclude those three countries. HSBC says it takes its responsibility to helping countries meet the Paris Agreement climate goals, seriously. However, campaigners say the new energy policy shows the bank is not serious about fulfilling its aim to be a sustainable leader in the sector.
The rig standing in a field in Little Plumpton, Lancashire, is about to start drilling. Today, Cuadrilla finally got all the all-clear to start fracking, after the High Court rejected a request for a last-minute injunction.
Activists stationed outside the site have been disrupting Cuadrilla’s plans for over a year. They’ve used lock-ons and legal challenges to obstruct the company’s plans, but it looks as though Cuadrilla has leapt the final hurdle.
None of the protesters are about to go home. They see this as a legal hiccup on a longer road to victory.
“It’s 4.21pm. I’m just saying. I’d like to say it’s all okay, but it’s really not. It sucks.”
It’s difficult to hear Tina Rothery’s gloomy pronouncement, as heavy rain has just started to hammer the canvas of the hoop house where we are sat. She has been stationed here for hours, along with a small group of fellow activists, refreshing her phone, waiting to see whether the High Court has lifted an injunction against Cuadrilla, allowing the company to finally start fracking in a field in Little Plumpton, Lancashire.
A big UN report arrived on Monday, saying in no uncertain terms that the world has up to two decades to massively cut emissions by transforming the global economy if we want to avoid terrible climate impacts.
Given the implications of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) findings — government intervention, progressive social policies, more international aid — it’s perhaps not surprising that those who deny climate change is real or a problem pushed back. It took a few days, but the climate science deniers’ response to the IPCC report is now in full flow.
What we see is three distinct layers of climate science denial at play here:
There’s the ‘this isn’t happening’ sun-spot brigade. There’s the ‘this is happening but it’s all a Communist ruse’ zealots. And then there’s the team who reluctantly admit they’ve lost the debate but shoehorn in a number of caveats and excuses to justify why nothing should happen.
The UK Government is planning to support the expansion of a multi-billion pound oil refinery in Bahrain which could have “significant adverse environmental impacts” as part of efforts to boost British exports.
The expansion and upgrade of the Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) oil refinery complex in Sitra, east Bahrain, is expected to increase the production capacity from a maximum of 267,000 barrels per day to 380,000 barrels per day. The project is reported to cost well in excess of £5bn, according to Reuters.
The announcement comes two days after scientists from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a landmark report warning that the world has 12 years to make urgent and massive transformations across societies to avoid dangerous levels of global warming.