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79 newly released campaigners from Insulate Britain head back to M25

17 September 2021


Early this morning, 79 people from Insulate Britain attempted to block the M25 for a third time in a week, hours after being released by police.  They are demanding that Boris gets on with the job of insulating Britain’s homes starting with the homes of the poorest people in the country.   [1]

The campaigners aimed to block a number of roundabouts and junctions on the M25 network. At Junction 28 in Essex, the police were ready and waiting for the campaigners. They managed to prevent 12 out of 20 from making it onto the carriageway, leading them off in handcuffs. The remainder managed to get onto the road and partially blocked the carriageway.

Elsewhere, blue paint was poured onto the road, which will lead to further disruption.

Insulate Britain says actions will continue until the government makes a meaningful commitment to insulate all of Britain’s 29 million leaky homes by 2030, which are among the oldest and most energy inefficient in Europe.  [2]

89 people were released from several different custody centres across South East England on Thursday morning and they have returned to the M25 today. 

Harry, 25, a Solar Engineer from Cornwall said: 

“Although I actively chose a career in the renewable energy sector, I feel like I need to do more to prepare this country for the oncoming effects of climate change. I don’t believe the government is doing enough. I’m taking part in this action because I want the government to move faster on reducing CO2 emissions. 

Insulating homes is not only in line with the government’s promises but is an easy win in the battle to reduce emissions. Home insulation gives the biggest reduction in carbon emissions for each pound spent - it's time to get started. ”

According to the government’s climate watchdog, the UK Committee on Climate Change (CCC), we will not meet our targets for reducing carbon emissions without a complete decarbonisation of Britain’s homes which it says should be a national priority. The CCC’s 2019 report “ UK housing: Fit for the future? “ said: [2]

“The 29 million existing homes across the UK must be made low- carbon, low-energy and resilient to a changing climate. This is a UK infrastructure priority and should be supported as such by HM Treasury.”

Insulate Britain’s aims are in line with what many in the industry are calling for. Tim Gough, RIBA, an architect and academic and a former Vice-President of the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Construction Industry Council  said:

“ Insulate Britain – responsible for closing motorways this week around London – has a straightforward aim: that the government insulate all UK houses by 2030.  This is an infrastructure investment project requiring Churchillian levels of political guts, making Dominic Cummings’ recent £1.5bn botched green homes scheme puny by comparison.”

According to government statistics, in 2019, over 3 million households, or 13.4% of all households, were in fuel poverty. [3]

Val, 67,  from Gloucestershire said:

Heating or eating? No family should have to make that choice! We need to make insulating Britain our biggest priority to reduce CO2 emissions! Social housing can become anti-social housing if you’re living in fuel poverty!

Fuel poverty charity, National Energy Action (NEA) has pointed out that in our last ‘normal’ winter 8,500 lives were lost because of cold and leaky homes. Low incomes, high energy costs and poor heating and insulation all combined to leave them in conditions which were unfit to help them survive the cold weather. [4]

James,  42,  from Wiltshire said 

“The government needs to listen to the building and retrofitting industry and provide appropriate funding to make sure this is done right.

By insulating housing we'd create thousands of jobs for British people. We'd revive our economy while protecting the most vulnerable.

I hope the government gets the message and insulates Britain.”


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Notes to Editors

[1] About Insulate Britain

Insulate Britain is a new campaign group that is calling on the UK government to put in place policy and funding for a national home insulation programme starting with all social housing. 

We demand the Prime Minister and the government to #getonwiththejob, face up to their responsibility and lead our country through the climate crisis.

We are ordinary British citizens with simple and achievable demands to #INSULATEBRITAIN

The UK government must immediately promise to fully fund and take responsibility for the insulation of all social housing in Britain

We demand a national home insulation strategy that gives British people the justice they deserve: a future for our loved ones, lower energy bills and safer living conditions

We are scared: our livelihoods are at risk and the futures of our children are uncertain

The Climate Crisis is a threat to all: we demand the government to act now

Our Demands

1. That the UK government immediately promises to fully fund and take responsibility for the insulation of all social housing in Britain by 2025;

2. That the UK government immediately promises to produce within four months a legally binding national plan to fully fund and take responsibility for the full low-energy and low-carbon whole-house retrofit , with no externalised costs, of all homes in Britain by 2030 as part of a just transition to full decarbonisation of all parts of society and the economy.

Further information about Insulate Britain and our demands here:

Technical Report on home energy efficiency here:

[2] UK Committee on Climate Change (Feb 2019):  UK housing: Fit for the future?