Extinction Rebellion action forces closure of Lloyds of London City HQ

extinction rebellion lloyds of london blockade

Today at 7am, more than 60 people from Extinction Rebellion blocked the entrances at Lloyd’s of London headquarters in the heart of the Square Mile, preventing staff from entering the building. 

The action aims to close the London-based insurance and reinsurance giant for the day. 

Extinction Rebellion demands 

Extinction Rebellion is demanding that Lloyd’s of London stop insuring fossil fuels projects, and highlighted the Trans Mountain Pipeline extension in Canada, which they believe is being insured through the Lloyd’s marketplace.

People used superglue, chains and bike locks, to block over twenty-five entrances to the building. Staff already inside were allowed to exit. 

Climbers also scaled the outside of the iconic building and dropped two banners, reading: ‘End Fossil Fuels Now’ and ‘Insure Climate Justice’. Others stuck stickers on the windows that said ‘Stop Insuring Trans Mountain’. 

extinction rebellion protestors outside lloyds of london april 2022
Making a claim: ExRebellion protestors block access to Lloyds of London’s City HQ.

There was also a performance outside from the Dirty Scrubbers, Tea Ladies, CorpRats and Orchestrated Discontent.

Clare Walmsley, a spokesperson from Extinction Rebellion, said: “We’re here to demand an end to all new fossil fuel investments and insurance. 

“By underwriting the world’s most deadly fossil fuel projects, they are creating climate chaos – floods, famine, wildfires and death. 

“Insuring new oil and gas projects will do nothing to solve the cost of living crisis either. Instead, it locks us into a system that’s already pushing millions into poverty.”

The action is part of the April Rebellion and comes after 10 days of ongoing disruption across the UK from Extinction Rebellion and the Just Stop Oil coalition, resulting in fuel shortages all around the country. 

Both groups have vowed to continue disruption until the government stops all new fossil fuel investments. 

With the government’s new energy strategy doubling down on oil and gas in the North Sea in face of war in Ukraine – which the group said is in complete contradiction to Paris Agreement commitments – Extinction Rebellion intends to continue to disrupt the fossil fuel industry until the demand is met.

Mediashotz contacted Lloyds of London and a spokesperson for the company gave us the following statement: “Lloyd’s supports safe and constructive engagement on climate change and we’re continuing to work to support a responsible transition. 

“In the interests of our people’s safety, we have advised Corporation employees and market participants not to come to the building today. 

“The market remains open and trading is continuing online using our remote capabilities.”

As employees arrived for work to find the building closed, they were greeted by members of XR’s TruthTeller project who invited them to blow the whistle about any planet damaging plans being insured by Lloyds. 

A flier addressed to “Dear Lloyds of London” noted that CEO John Neal has recently backtracked on a report that promised to phase out the most damaging activities by 2030, calling it nothing more than a “provocative discussion document.” 

The note asked: “As a fellow human being are you happy to help him take us down this highly dangerous path? 

“As a Lloyd’s professional, do you think it makes long-term business sense to double down on a doomed sector? 

“If not, we invite you to speak up. We also invite you to whistleblow.”

Craig Welsby, a spokesperson from Extinction Rebellion, said: “Lloyd’s CEO John Neil isn’t just refusing to take action to avoid climate breakdown, but is actively blocking efforts by other members of the Lloyd’s team to take action. 

“In 2022 Lloyd’s unveiled a policy that would have seen the most polluting fossil fuels, coal and tar sand, blacklisted from the marketplace. Instead, we’re now told their policy isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. 

“To safeguard a liveable planet, we need to stop fossil fuel expansion today, not recklessly squeeze every last bit of profit.”