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U.K. leader Rishi Sunak's house turned black by Greenpeace activists protesting oil "drilling frenzy"

London — Climate activists draped U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's northern England home in about 200 yards of jet black fabric Thursday in a protest against the British government's policy on oil drilling. 

Environmental advocacy organization Greenpeace said on social media that campaigners were "on the roof of Rishi Sunak's mansion draping it in 200 metres of oily-black fabric to drive home the dangerous consequences of a new drilling frenzy." 

Climbers cover Rishi Sunak's mansion in oil-black fabric
Greenpeace activists hold a banner while others cover British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's house in black fabric in protest of his backing for a major expansion of North Sea oil and gas drilling, in North Yorkshire, England, August 3, 2023. Greenpeace/Handout/REUTERS

Greenpeace's post was accompanied by a photo showing activists in hard hats and bright yellow safety jackets on top of the house, which was completely covered by the black cloth. Two other campaigners were pictured standing in front of the house with a banner captioned: "Rishi Sunak — oil profits or our future?"

In a statement, the North Yorkshire Police said officers were "responding to reports of protest activity at a property in Kirby Sigston" and were "managing the situation."

In reaction to the Greenpeace protest at the prime minister's home, a source at Sunak's office in London, 10 Downing Street, told CBS News the U.K. government would "make no apology for taking the right approach to ensure our energy security, using the resources we have here at home so we are never reliant on aggressors like Putin for our energy."

"We are also investing in renewables and our approach supports 1000s of British jobs," the source said. 

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The protest came days after Sunak announced that his government was approving hundreds of new commercial licenses to allow companies to extract oil and gas from the North Sea, a policy he defended as vital to Britain's national security. 

"We have all witnessed how Putin has manipulated and weaponized energy — disrupting supply and stalling growth in countries around the world. Now more than ever, it's vital that we bolster our energy security," the prime minister said Monday. Sunak has also hinted previously that his government may grant fossil fuel companies access to Rosebank, the U.K.'s largest untapped oil field, despite fierce opposition from environmental campaigners. 

In a post on its website Thursday, Greenpeace said "drilling for new oil in the North Sea will do nothing to increase our energy security, or lower people's bills. Only a commitment to renewables and energy efficiency can."

"Drilling at Rosebank and other fields in the North Sea will be catastrophic for the climate and a terrible deal for the British public. The profits will go to the oil industry," Greenpeace said in its blog post. 

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