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Major oil conference cancelled after pressure from environmental activists

A MAJOR oil and gas exploration conference has been cancelled at the request of the venue’s owners following pressure from environmental campaigners and doctors.

Oil and Gas UK (OGUK) had booked the conference set for Thursday at the Royal College of General Practitioners’ (RCGP) Euston office through event company Searcys, without the college’s prior knowledge.

Climate change group Extinction Rebellion (XR) began planning a protest against the event, while RCGP members within the Doctors for XR movement called emergency meetings with college leaders to address what they called the severity of the conflict between oil exploration and health.

RCGP chairman Professor Martin Marshall said: “We deeply regret that a booking was accepted to host an event at our headquarters that conflicts with the college’s longstanding commitment to combat the impact of climate change on the environment and on the health of our patients.

“We are also reviewing our college sponsorship policy and will ensure that any third party activity is aligned with this to guard against a similar situation ever happening again in the future.”

OGUK is in favour of drilling exploration for new deposits of oil and gas in the North Sea, despite the impact it would have on the climate.

Doctors for XR spokeswoman Dr Angela Wilson said: “The connection between fossil fuel use and poor health is getting stronger by the day.

“Already there are more excess deaths in the UK from air pollution than from bowel and breast cancer combined.

“The oil wells open already are enough to heat the world into a dangerously unstable position, exploring for more is a suicide mission. We need to get off oil.”

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