Fossil fuel activists target Manchester city insurers in week of action

Marches and protests broke out in Manchester city centre today around insurance company buildings as samba drummers and colourful flags took to the streets to campaign against the use of fossil fuels. 

Activists from all over the country travelled to Manchester to participate in the ‘Insure Our Future’ movement, organised by EACOP (East African Crude Oil Pipeline), GreenPeace, Extinction Rebellion, Stop West Cumbria and Tipping Point.

Campaigners trooped across the city and focused on Hiscox UK, Tokio Marine, AIG and Chubb, which are one of the largest insurance businesses in the world that centre on property and casualty insurance. 

The activist campaigns have held rallies in Manchester, Leicester and London, as well as over 30 countries across five continents, including France, Germany, Switzerland and The US, to stop fossil fuel projects.

The aim of the campaign is to stop insurance companies securing fossil fuel projects like the Africa Crude Oil Pipeline and the West Cumbria Coal Mine. 

This comes after torrential rains and heavy floods have affected countries in Africa such as Tanzania and Uganda due to ecosystems being affected by fossil fuels – killing over 300 people in December 2023.

Source: TotalEnergies

The residents of both countries have blamed the damage on the planned pipeline infrastructure, in addition to global warming, which Extinction Rebellion activists have also been protesting about this week.

Clara Paillard, 44, who works as a climate justice campaigner from Liverpool said: “We are trying to bring a bit of energy and hope because we believe that if we are together, then we can make change happen.

“In the global north, we are now taking action in solidarity with the front line communities which are not only affected by the pipeline project but also by devastating climate events – there have been massive floods and droughts in Uganda and Tanzania where the pipeline is planned. 

“In solidarity with communities in Cumbria near Whitehaven, where the coal mine is planned, there is an area where there is high unemployment. 

She also added: “With both projects, they are trying to sell it to the public by saying it will create a lot of jobs, but we know that those claims are inflated. The project will also destroy a lot of jobs as well as destroying livelihoods.”

Insurance companies such as Hiscox Insurance, Tokio Marine, AIG and Chubb have contributed around £16.86 billion to the fossil fuel industry back in 2022, according to Insurance Business Mag.

Participants of the protest have mentioned that the issue of insurance companies focusing on projects that ruin the environment not only affects fossil fuel progression in the world, but also global warming and CO2 emissions, as well.

Chanje Kunda, 45, who is a poet from Manchester, explained that Total Energies (a French, multinational energy company), are trying to build the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) extracting crude oil that is going to be taken from Uganda that is landlocked, through Tanzania and out into the Indian Ocean.

For more information on EACOP, click here.

Or for details on Stop EACOP’s case, you can access further information here.

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