Extinction Rebellion protesters blockade Edinburgh office over fossil fuel investment for MSPs

Daily Record, By Alan McEwen
14.01.20

Climate change activists blocked the entrances to an investment firm office in Edinburgh yesterday.

Members of Extinction Rebellion chained themselves up outside doors at the Baillie Gifford building in the city centre.

They were protesting against the firm investing MSP pension funds into oil and gas giant Shell.

Around 30 police officers were called to the blockade opposite the John Lewis department store, which began around 7.30am.

John Hardy, 36, Extinction Rebellion’s campaigns officer in Edinburgh, said: “Pensions are supposed to be about the future, but there will be no future if we keep investing in fossil fuels.

“Our representatives and those who work on their behalf need to show leadership on the climate emergency by removing all support for the fossil industry which threatens us all.”

Extinction Rebellion said Baillie Gifford had increased MSPs pension investment in Shell.

One of the protesters, Marco, said: “We’re handing out flyers to people and having conversations. The response has been very positive.

“The protesters at the doors have their arms chained inside a repurposed beer keg with a steel pipe through it.

“They’ve built this device to make it difficult for the police to remove them so they can stay as long as possible.”

Baillie Gifford staff were able to enter the building via a side door.

Extinction Rebellion are carrying out a two-week long campaign targeting the fossil fuel industry in Scotland.

A Baillie and Gifford spokesman said: “We cannot comment on individual client portfolio holdings.

“We take climate change seriously and are proud of being early investors in some of the world’s most progressive and innovative companies.

“Our focus is on long-term growth investments for our clients which means our investment strategies are increasingly geared towards supporting a transition to a low carbon economy.

“We believe in being part of this conversation and supporting companies on this journey towards a sustainable future.”