On Thursday afternoon (7th March) a mix of choristers from around the UK took over St Stephen’s Hall in the heart of the Houses of Parliament, delivering a four-part harmony rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus with new lyrics protesting against the Government decision to licence new oil exploration in the North Sea Rosebank oil field.

The World Bank estimates that the project will produce more carbon emissions than that of 28 low-income countries across the world – the equivalent of 700 million people, and while media faithfully stenographed the claim that it will reduce our reliance on fuel from abroad and reduce bills, the Government has admitted the oil will be sold on the world market. So UK taxes will subsidise the giant Norwegian Equinor company, which will then make further profit at UK consumers’ expense.

The choir was led by composer Kate Honey, who wrote the new ‘Stop Rosebank’ lyrics. While singing, some choir members held up smuggled banners, including “Rosebank: A pretty name for a dirty business” and “Stop Rosebank Now: renewables are cleaner, safer and cheaper”.

55 Tufton Street

After being ejected by palace security, the choir walked to Tufton Street, where lobbyists and darkly-funded ‘think tanks’ are based, influencing and corrupting politicians and feeding lies to the corporate and state press. After creeping up outside, they burst into another rendition of the Handel adaptation.

The Climate Choir Movement was founded in 2022 in Bristol and has rapidly grown to hundreds of singers in choirs all around the country. It has performed inside fossil-fuel funded museums and at corporate AGMs, outside airports and investment companies, and took part in actions against the insurance industry in London the previous week.