’We want insurers to take an ethical stance to not insure any new fossil fuel projects,’ says protest group spokesperson

Climate protest groups performed a song at the opening of the 2024 Biba Conference in Manchester this morning (15 May 2024) as the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) department increased its presence around the Manchester Central Convention Complex. 

Martin Porter of protest group Greater Manchester Stop Eacop Coalition told Insurance Times: “We’re here to call on insurers to not insure any new fossil fuel projects. 

“There’s a very strong moral argument but also an increasingly strong business case because fossil fuels will cause risks for everyone – businesses, private investors and insurers themselves. We want insurers to take an ethical stance to not insure any new fossil fuel projects.” 

The protest group performed a song with lyrics describing the dangers of insuring fossil fuels and praising insurers that had committed to not protect any new projects as delegates entered the conference.

Police presence

GMP also stepped up its presence around the conference as attendees were warned of heightened security. 

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Police response vans lingered in St Peter’s Square

In a pre-event communication to delegates, Biba explained: ”Our priority is the safety of attendees at the event and we are in ongoing discussions with the venue’s security teams and the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) are scanning intelligence sources ahead of our event.

”We are not anticipating any cause for concern – however, if it is deemed necessary, the venue and the GMP will run a joint operation to secure the event to keep attendees safe and ensure it can go ahead with minimal disruption.  

In the close-by St Peter’s Square, multiple police vans had been deployed in anticipation of any protests and police officers were also seen monitoring police activity. 

Protests have been planned for throughout the day at Biba, with reports that more could occur later in the day.