Credit: Extinction Rebellion Glasgow University

Oil company Eni’s speech at Glasgow University hijacked by protestors

By Katrina Sian Williams

The talk was interrupted by climate activists who criticised Eni’s actions in Mozambique.

A range of activists interrupted Italian oil company Eni’s speech at the University of Glasgow on 2 November, in order to highlight the company’s “dishonesty in tackling the climate crisis”.

The protestors cut in at the beginning of the Managing Director’s speech, criticizing the company’s track record, especially in its “exploitation of fossil fuels” and the effects on communities in the Cabo Delgado region of Mozambique as a result of its development of natural gas facilities in the area. 

Friday’s for Future Italy began the disruption, singing and giving speeches in Italian about Eni’s deception concerning their actions towards climate change. Member of the group Marco Pitò commented: “The youth in Italy won’t stand for these lies and blatant disregard for our lives, our future. We are scared, and we have to stop letting these climate criminals fool us.”

Subsequently, Scottish campaigners read out a statement from Justiça Ambiental concerning the company’s activities in Cabo Delgado. The group claimed that the oil giant has incited a range of environmental, health, and human rights issues in the area: “Eni’s thirst for gas in the Cabo Delgado has seen entire communities lose their land and be displaced from their homes. The area is now in the midst of a violent conflict, fuelled by the gas industry, but Eni takes no responsibility.”

Other groups involved in the protest included Glasgow Calls Out Polluters and Corporate Europe Observatory, the latter of which criticised Eni’s plans to be net-zero by 2050 due to their reliance on “unrealistic offsets” and non-existent technology to “compensate for increasing emissions”. They said: “Eni thinks that just because it aims to be net zero by 2050, it can carry on exploiting fossil fuels and destroying communities and the climate while compensating for it in the future. But it simply doesn’t add up. We need real zero and real climate solutions, which means an end to fossil fuel production, not ramping it up.”

The groups then left the venue after erecting an “End Fossil Fuels” banner on stage.


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