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Campaigners to challenge UK government support for climate-wrecking fossil fuels as Conservatives meet in Manchester

news release

Local environmental campaigners will be gathering outside the Conservative Party conference on Monday (4 October), with an eye-catching giant oil rig, to highlight the government’s continued support for climate-wrecking fossil fuels in the UK and overseas.

The campaigners from Manchester Friends of the Earth will be drawing the attention of Conservative delegates to the UK government’s support for fossil fuels including a coal mine in Cumbria, new oil fields off our coasts and financing of a new gas mega-project in Mozambique. 

The stunt comes a month ahead of the UK’s hosting of the crucial UNCOP26 international climate talks in Glasgow, at which the Conservative government is positioning itself as a global leader on climate. (1)  

At the same time as the protest in Manchester, climate campaigners in London will be outside the headquarters of UK Export Finance with a 4m long pipeline to highlight the government’s funding of the Mozambique gas project, which is linked to violent conflict and displacement in the region. 

The liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in theCabo Delgado region of Mozambique has already led to the forced displacement of local people to make way for fossil fuel infrastructure and industry accommodation, with 550 families losing their homes. 

The UK government has pledged $1 billion of taxpayer money to support fossil fuel giants includingTotal, Eni and ExxonMobil to develop the project. (2) 

Catherine Thomson, Manchester Friends of the Earth co-ordinator said:

“We need to drastically and urgently reduce emissions by ending our toxic relationship with fossil fuels. The Conservative government must end support for fossil fuels by pulling the plug on planned new projects here in the UK – including a coal mine in Cumbria and new oil fields off our coasts – and stopping its financing of a new gas mega-project in Mozambique.“ 

Instead of climate-wrecking fossil fuels, the government should be investing in clean energy solutions that cut emissions and could create thousands of new green jobs in Greater Manchester.” (3)

Fossil Free London member John O’Reilly said: 

“We are joining forces with Manchester Friendsof the Earth to highlight the injustice at the heart of government action on climate, and in advance of the COP 26 Glasgow Climate Talks, to show that the UK is far from the climate leader it promotes itself as.  

“We’ve seen the chaos climate breakdown is causing with recent wildfires around the world, and with Madagascar on the brink of the world’s first climate induced famine, funding fossil fuels including the Mozambique gas project is unconscionable”.   


Contact for comments:  Pete Abel, Manchester Friends of the Earth. Mobile: 07951 642858.  Email:

1. See

2.  What’s happening in Mozambique, published 9 April 2021 

3.    Local Government Association analysis suggests the Greater Manchester could benefit from 26,639 jobs in low carbon and renewable energy over the next decade 

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