Olympians among Extinction Rebellion protestors at Fawley Refinery

Watch: ITV News Meridian's Kerry Swain visited Fawley Refinery earlier.

Two Olympic athletes are among protestors blockading Fawley Refinery this morning, after activists cut through fences and scaled silos.

Around 15 Extinction Rebellion members entered the site just before 7AM this morning (Thursday 28th October), they then left shortly before 4PM.

Among them are sailor Laura Baldwin and canoeist Etienne Stott.

Hampshire Police said it has officers on scene and will take 'necessary action' against those who act outside the law.

Seven of the protestors have scaled two 50 foot oil silos and unfurled two banners which proclaim: “Climate Emergency” and “No Future in Fossil Fuels”.

Another group of activists, including British Olympians Laura Baldwin and Etienne Stott, are chained to a pink boat, The Beverly Geronimo, on a trailer which is blockading the main entrance to the site.

The Fawley activists are demanding the Government listen to the nation and raise the bar as the host of the Cop26 Climate Summit next week by announcing an immediate end to all fossil fuel investment.

Protestors scaled two of the 5 foot silos. Credit: XR

Laura Baldwin, Olympic sailor, coach and environmental protector, from Portland, said: “I am a deeply protective mother, moved to take direct action in a desperate bid to force this suicidal system to change in time to limit the climate crisis worsening and slipping past the point of no return."

Etienne Stott, 42, Olympic Gold Medallist at London 2012,who lives in Nottingham, added: “I think it’s totally wrong that oil companies continue to put their profits ahead of everyone’s right to a future on a living planet. We need our government to rein in these rogue companies as a matter of urgency and show to the world ahead of COP26 that the U.K. is prepared to take a genuine leadership position.”

Watch: Former Olympic sailor, Laura Baldwin, explains why she is protesting at Fawley.

In a statement Hampshire Police said:

"We can confirm that officers are on scene at Fawley Refinery, Fawley, and surrounding areas where a protest is taking place.

"Everyone has the right to free speech and protest. However, officers will take necessary action against the few who deliberately choose to act outside the law. 

"Police will work to ensure the health and safety of people at these locations, and to minimise the impact on the local community."

In response to the protest An ExxonMobil spokesperson said: ‘’ExxonMobil believes that climate change risks warrant action and it’s going to take all of us — business, governments and consumers — to make meaningful progress.

‘’Our focus includes reducing our emissions, helping consumers reduce their emissions, and  developing lower-emission energy solutions, including energy efficiency initiatives, biofuels, flare reduction and carbon capture and storage (CCS).

‘’At Fawley, we are also directly helping motorists and farmers to reduce their emissions through the manufacturing of lower carbon fuels, and we are also producing the lubricants and chemicals that support lower emissions by use across a range of applications such as wind turbines and electric vehicles. Furthermore, our chemicals play a vital role in our daily lives from medical equipment, to clothing, cleaning materials and healthcare products.

‘’We respect the right to peaceful protest, but our priority is the safety of our people, our neighbours and our operations and we are working with Hampshire Police to ensure this is maintained.

“ExxonMobil Fawley continues to operate safely and is not experiencing any impact on production.’’