Young climate change campaigners have held a protest on Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm as they call for a fair energy transition deal for offshore workers.
Holly Gillibrand from Fort William staged a protest at Beatrice offshore wind farm in the North Sea on Wednesday alongside fellow campaigners Lily Henderson and Dylan Hamilton appealing for greater consideration of the “welfare and needs” of offshore workers.
The trio hoisted up a 1,500 sq ft banner aboard Greenpeace’s ship, the Rainbow Warrior, marking the latest stop on Greenpeace’s Just Transition Tour.
The campaign has been launched in partnership with Friends of the Earth Scotland and Platform to appeal to the Scottish Government to engage with workers and take action to secure a successful and just transition.
It comes after a survey found about 300 offshore workers were facing an annual £1,600 fee to repeat training courses.
‘We don’t have a hope of stopping this crisis’
16-year-old Scottish climate activist Holly has been striking with Fridays For Future Scotland for three years.
She says the “people in power” need to step up and take action to face the growing crisis head on.
“The climate and ecological emergency is at its heart a social justice issue, so the solutions need to centre around the welfare and needs of people,” she said.
“It is so important that as young climate activists we listen to oil workers and have these conversations involving people from many different backgrounds and experiences.
“Unless we move away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy, we don’t have a hope of stopping this crisis. The people in power need to start treating this like a crisis instead of tinkering around the edges without disrupting business as usual, which is ultimately what we need.”
Just transition campaign
Last month, campaigners from Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth Scotland and Platform visited Inverness and Aberdeen as part of a country-wide tour.
Campaigners invited shoppers and visitors to sign the 42ft blade to show their support for a fair energy transition deal.
More than 12,000 people have also signed an online petition calling on First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to side with Scottish workers and the climate, not oil bosses.
‘This has to change’
Morten Thaysen, oil campaigner for Greenpeace UK, said the government’s approach “has to change” as calls for a “brighter future” escalate.
He said: “Scotland has the opportunity to drive forward this energy transition, and see its North Sea communities thrive by helping fossil fuel workers move over to sustainable green jobs.
“But instead, the Scottish Government is following Westminster’s playbook, and is complicit in propping up the destructive oil industry, while ignoring its key workers in the energy sector.
“This has to change. Oil workers and Scotland’s young people are united in wanting a brighter future. We urge Just Transition Minister Richard Lochhead to do his job, and listen to them.”