Report: The future of the European Protest Threat Landscape

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February 22, 2024

Since early 2022, we have witnessed a rise in environmental activism, which has several implications for the security of critical national infrastructure and organisations operating in within, or in collaboration with, the fossil fuel industry.

Elements of a state’s critical national infrastructure are frequently such activists’ primary targets, and they share common tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) to try and achieve their goals.

SecAlliance now offers a report into the European Protest Threat Landscape, specifically focused on the growing membership of the A22 Network, which rose to prominence in 2022.

The A22 Network is a global collective which is attracting a growing number of new environmental activist groups across Europe, yet little is widely known about the origins of the Network. The report, however, details the group’s aims, actions, members and targeting.

This latest SecAlliance report provides valuable insight into members of the A22 Network, giving an overview of each group, analysing their autumn 2023 action (the most active season), and assesses potential future actions into 2024.

The A22 Network proved to be extremely active over the autumn 2023 period, conducting 237 protest actions across eleven countries.  

The report delves into the actions of currently active A22 Network members, including Just Stop Oil (UK), Letzte Generation (Germany), Letzte Generation Österreich (Austria), Dernière Renovation (France), Ultima Generazione (Italy), Stopp Oljeletinga (Norway), Återställ Våtmarker (Sweden) and Renovate Switzerland (Switzerland).

It describes the active groups’ TTPs, and which methods are preferred. Based on data gathered, SecAlliance’s expert team also provides insight into predicted actions into 2024.

Transport critical national infrastructure, for example, remains a popular method of protest, as it is relatively easy to organise any form of road-based blockage. Such actions cause public, noticeable disruption due to the civilian and commercial population’s reliance upon it, as well as it being a signifier of the broader fossil fuel industry.

The report further postulates that TTPs constantly evolve to meet specific country and/or context needs. Variations on slow marches and road blocks have been noted across the Network, and evolving TTPs are seen as a continuing trend, as members seek to maintain their upper hand in the threat landscape and combat changes in potential activity-curtailing legislation.  

A22 Network’s aims are known – to bring down those who maintain the regimes of fossil fuel extraction, to force governments to slash carbon emissions, and to create tension worldwide to catalyse change.

The organisation is committed to achieving those aims, with plans to mobilise around the world, primarily funded by US-based ‘venture philanthropy’ organisation, the Climate Emergency Fund (CEF), which facilitates recruitment, training and capacity building.

Disruptive protest activity is the core foundation of the A22 Network, as a means to build narrative power and achieve policy change through media attention. As such, A22 Network members are highly motivated to target critical infrastructure with the aim of disrupting business as usual.

The SecAlliance European Protest Threat Landscape Report goes a long way to help security and risk professionals stay abreast of this rapidly evolving arena.

The full report is exclusively available on ThreatMatch for our ThreatMatch subscribers.