British police arrests 13 climate activists who blocked Heathrow airport access road

·2-min read
Insulate Britain activists block a motorway junction in London

HEATHROW, England (Reuters) - Climate change protesters on Friday temporarily disrupted an access road close to Heathrow Airport, Britain's biggest travel hub, before police cleared the protest and arrested 13 people.

More than a dozen activists from environmental group Insulate Britain sat in a row blocking the road during early morning rush hour. Some had glued their hands to the ground and chained themselves together using bicycle locks.

Their protest brought traffic at a roundabout near the M4 motorway's Junction 3 to a standstill.

Police eventually cleared the road, dragging handcuffed activists away from the site.

"Officers arrested 13 people for obstruction and conspiracy to commit public nuisance," London's Metropolitan Police said on its Twitter account.

Insulate Britain wants the government to commit to providing insulation for 29 million homes in an effort to curb fossil fuel use and fight global warming.

The group said on Friday that it also blocked a roundabout near the M1 motorway at Junction 1, its latest action after it stopped traffic on London's M25 orbital motorway multiple times over the last three weeks, and blocked the Port of Dover.

In an attempt to stop the disruption, the transport ministry has sought injunctions from the High Court which mean that the protesters may face jail time for repeating their actions.

But Insulate Britain says its actions will continue until Britain makes a meaningful statement to insulate the country's homes, which it says are the most energy inefficient in Europe.

Britain, which aims to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, will host the UN COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in November, where Prime Minister Boris Johnson will push world leaders to commit to ending reliance on fossil fuels.

(Reporting by Peter Cziborra and Ben Makori; Writing by Sarah Young; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

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