Protesters Drape Home of UK PM Sunak in Black Fabric over Energy Policy


Greenpeace protesters draped the private home of British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in black fabric on Thursday, stepping up their campaign against his government's policy on drilling for oil.

A picture posted by Greenpeace UK on messaging platform X, formerly known as Twitter, showed four protesters atop the property in northern England, covering it in swathes of black fabric, while two others held a banner that read "RISHI SUNAK - OIL PROFITS OR OUR FUTURE?"

A source at Sunak's office said police were in attendance.

"We make no apology for taking the right approach to ensure our energy security, using the resources we have here at home so we are never reliant on aggressors like (Vladimir) Putin for our energy," the source said.

Sunak said on Wednesday that he was due to leave the country for a holiday that evening.

Britain adopted the target of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050 under former Prime Minister Theresa May in 2019, and was quick to build up its renewable energy capacity.

But campaigners have criticised the government's record in recent years. On Monday, it committed to granting hundreds of licences for North Sea oil and gas extraction as part of efforts to become more energy independent.

It also approved its first new deep coal mine in decades in December.

Sunak defended his environmental record on Wednesday, saying it had done a better job than other major countries in cutting carbon emissions.

Greenpeace said four activists climbed onto the roof of the prime minister’s home in Yorkshire, northern England, to protest at his backing for the expansion of North Sea oil and gas licences.

"We desperately need our prime minister to be a climate leader, not a climate arsonist," Greenpeace UK said in a statement.

A poll released on Wednesday showed 67% of voters thought the government was handling environmental issues badly, the worst rating since mid-2019 when YouGov began tracking public opinion on the issue.

(Reuters - Reporting by Muvija M, Alistair Smout, William James and Farouq Suleiman; Editing by Kate Holton)

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