In villages, towns, and cities across the UK, the frontline fight against fracking and oil and gas extraction is being led by dedicated residents and campaigners from all walks of life.
Locals in Leith Hill, near Dorking, have been locked in a bitter dispute with Europa Oil and Gas for more than seven years over controversial plans to drill for oil in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty situated in the Surrey Hills.
A new on-site protection camp was erected towards the end of 2016, with campaigners fearing drilling was drawing closer. I visited the site soon after its construction to offer my support. Oil extraction at Leith Hill not only risks damaging our local environment and health, it is a distraction from the work that must be done to build a sustainable future based on a clean, democratic energy system.
The truth is we can’t develop any new fossil fuel reserves or push ahead with fracking if we hope to uphold our commitments under the Paris Agreement. I will continue to offer my support to campaigners, like those in Leith Hill and now in Brockham too, who are putting their lives on hold to defend our planet, our heritage, and our future.