Living within the Glow 2021 Questionnaire

Friends of the Earth Falkirk are collecting views of local residents and beyond about their current concerns about living next to the oil industry in Grangemouth and their hopes for the future of the area. We are looking for diversity of views both locally and nationally and we will record them all in report Living within the Glow 2021. The 2021 questions are below the explanation of  the 2005 Report and a link to read the original report. 

To make a contribution to the Living within the Glow 2021 complete the form on the link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScCP24NNqqcnuHAf-BgYHZEL0nviA8_e3cWfULlpN8J6oq4yw/viewform?usp=sf_link

In 2005 Friends of the Earth Falkirk undertook a street questionnaire to ask residents who live within the glow of the Grangemouth oil refinery their views on the industry. We went onto the streets of Grangemouth and Bo’ness and asked the question. “When do you reminded that you live close to a major petro-chemical industry?”!

Read Living Within The Glow: Stories from the fence line by clicking the link:


In 2005 the refinery was under the management of BP. Over the past 16 years a lot has change within the industry with INEOS owning the majority of the oil and gas production in the town now. As the Scotland Government and Falkirk Council recognise the Climate Emergency Ineos continue to be the largest polluter in Scotland, Five of the INEOS plants based along Bo’ness Road include five of the the top ten biggest carbon polluters in Scotland. When Scotland has effectively banned fracking in Scotland INEOS ships fracked gas direct from Pennsylvania in the United States to Grangemouth Docks to maintain its role as the biggest producer of plastic in the UK. The impact of the oil and gas industry in not restricted to the residents of Grangemouth and we like the view from residents across Falkirk District who have an opinion to share.!

The two questions for 2021 are:


Solidarity with striking farmers in India

 #shineonindiafarmers Friends of the Earth Falkirk stand in solidarity with the striking farmers in India defending their food sovereignty against the Indian Government and agribusiness development


Divest Falkirk Press Release

To whom it may concern,

Please see the following press release from Divest Falkirk press release 4/12/20 for your consideration.



The non-profit organisation, Platform, commissioned Transition Economics to conduct the analysis (1), which showed that the combined investments by 10 Scottish local government pension funds into leading oil companies, including BP and Royal Dutch Shell, collapsed between April 2017 and November 2020.

Falkirk Council’s Pension Fund which saw losses of £34,769,72. Translating to hundreds of pounds lost for every member of the fund in Falkirk, Clackmannanshire and Stirling. 

Concerned constituents and members of the local Divest Falkirk campaign have been actively engaging councillors and representatives of the Falkirk council Pension Fund since 2018. We have been calling for an end to fossil fuels investments and instead a commitment to renewable energy and needed infrastructure like social housing. 

Particularly concerning was the lack of interest and concern from the SNP group. A meeting was held between campaign members with Paul Garner, SNP environment spokesperson for the Falkirk Council, in 2019. Despite passing a motion declaring a climate emergency, the investment concerns were not taken seriously. 

Combined factors of climate change, where the burning of fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas – is the main driver of this problem, there is also a serious threat to pensions as the oil and gas sector continues to collapse. 

This analysis concluded that, across the UK, local authority pension funds could have lost at least £1.75 billion in value over the past three years as a result of retaining their investments in just nine oil & gas companies.

Angus Maclean from Divest Falkirk said:

“We have on many occasions raised these financial risks with councillors and unfortunately they have been met with deaf ears. It is time the Falkirk Pension Fund listens and works towards a more sustainable future for all of us.”


Contact details:

Angus Maclean



(1) Original report 'Value lost to UK local authority pensions due to oil investments'




Notes from recent Mossmorran Event and the local experience with INOES

Friends of the Earth Falkirk/ Friends of the Earth Scotland Zoom Event Tuesday 10 November 

Bellow is a brief summary of the meeting. There was a number of voices from local residents, local campaigners, representatives from national groups and others interested in hearing from Mossmorran and Grangemouth experience. 

Feedback from the Mosmorran Action Group- James and Linda 
When the Mossmorran plant was developed in the 1970’s there was a promise of prosperity and jobs for a community which had been decimated by the deindustrialisation of the tradition industries in fife. The plant was built at an “acceptable distance” from the community. When residents had complaints they were dismissed as individual concerns.

In 2017 there was a major flaring event which led to an angry public meeting. SEPA and the local politicians were present but not the Exxon or Shell . Concerns could no longer be presented at individual concerns. Freedom of Information requests were submitted and the information disclosed was published to inform the community and draw media attention to the communities concerns.

The Mossmorran Action Group was formed and images of the flaring was collected and shared on the MAG website and Facebook page. As people started to share their images and vocalise their concerns a SOCIAL IMPACT MAP was produced online to map where the information residents were sharing. 

Actions Speak Louder than Words 
With recent periods of high flaring there was an appetite amongst the group to have a presence at the plants gates on a regular bases to raise the profile of the concerns. This has lead to events at Scottish Parliament and support from local politicians during debates in parliament. The group is building a local movement.

Context of Grangemouth Community and Ineos Norman 
Grangemouth had a different starting point from Mossmorran. People moved to Grangemouth in the 70’ and 80’s after the discovery on North Sea Oil. Workers moved for well paid jobs and good working conditions with BP, which was a nationalised industry at the time. BP clearly had a social licence and the community were happy to balance any environmental concerns with the economic benefit. This social licence has now been lost by the industry. When BP was privatised the conditions on the workers deteriorated and jobs and job security was reduced. At the same time the ageing plant had more shut downs and flaring was just one of the concerns within the community. However, ironically due to the size of the industry surrounding the town, the industry is virtually invisible to local residents. It becomes invisible until something particularly unusual happens then life just carries on as normal.

Where BP had been good to the workers and the town, Ineos does not even look for a social licence. It has challenged it’s workforce, challenged the community in planning concerns and challenged SEPA and Scottish Government to enable it to continue its business of extraction, refining and manufacturing, as if there wasn't a global climate emergency.

How do we raise Environmental and Climate Justice concerns while engaging with the community and their lived experience of living within the glow of Ineos.

Meeting Discussion
There was a number of residents from Bo’ness. There was an agreement with the description of Grangemouth but concerns were shared that Bo’ness- just 4 miles away from Ineos Plant- are totally ignored by the industry. Where every household in Grangemouth receive Emergency Procedure Cards, the residents of Bo’ness, who are impacted by the pollution and potentially at risk from living close to the plant receive no information. When there is going to be disruption at the plant INEOS post last minute notification in Grangemouth but none of these are directed at Bo’ness Residents. The town would like recognition from INEOS. here has also been a call for SEPA to have an office in Grangemouth to address the environmental concerns  Finally there has been ongoing anger with the Scottish Government for overturning local planning decisions in favour of the industry, undermining the democratic processes the community engage in.  The Bo’ness Road Closure decision was just the latest example of this undermining of the community, Falkirk Council’s planning officials and the democratic process of a public enquiry.

Within Grangemouth there was recent resistance to the closure of Bo’ness Road but their was a struggle to get support for the Bo’ness Road Action Group. The group did have a couple of actions including picketing a ministerial visit and organising a cycle event- “Get on yer bike”. However, there was a feeling around the town that most residents are apathetic and accepting of their situation.

There was recognition from Grangemouth residents that the town is divided. There is households who have benefited from the oil industry and there remains a is a legacy loyalty. The town now has areas of social deprivation and one in four children in the town are living in poverty. Climate Change might not be these households highest priority right now. The response to the recent XR direct action was mixed with some people being supportive, some people being angry with the traffic disruption, but the majority probably didn’t have an opinion either way 

On the day of the meeting Ineos had announced potentially 200 jobs being lost as they reconfigured the plant and scale back operations in the downturn in demand for oil during the pandemic. This highlights the need for a Just Transition for workers and for the oil and gas workers to transition rather than be victims of the need for the oil and gas industry to scale down to meet climate targets.

The Ineos plants along Bo’ness Road, including 5 of the top ten biggest CO2 polluters in Scotland  joins up the dots of nearly every Friends of the Earth Scotland Campaign- Climate Justice, Just Transition, Fracking, Circular Economy, Plastics, Air Quality and importantly Community Action.

Possible Action Friends of the Earth can take forward form the meeting:
  •  Look at replicating the Mossmorran Social Impact Map for Grangemouth 
  • Look at community engagement in Grangemouth, Bo’ness and Falkirk to listen to the lived experience and concerns, while sharing relevant environmental campaigns. Collect stories and concern by video and text to share the views of local residents.
  • Engage in relevant FoE Scotland campaigns through the lens of Grangemouth, Bo’ness and Falkirk.
  • Campaign in solidarity with other Scottish sites, such as Mossmorran. 
  • Campaign in solidarity with Ineos sites across the globe,such as fracking sites and plastic plants. across Europe. Call out Ineos Greenwash