Greenpeace have staged a dawn protest at the London HQ of BP to mark the first day of the oil and gas giant’s new CEO.
Bernard Looney over the role today as pressure grows on him to accelerate the firm’s transition away from fossil fuels, at a time when exploration continues.
The group claim around 100 activists gathered at St James’Square around 3am today using old oil barrels to block all six entrances.
Some activists chained themselves to the props.
They also ‘delivered’ 500 solar panels, but were prevented from completing their ‘work’ when police arrived. Around 50 activists are said to have formed a human blockade. Images show some being carried away by the authorities.
Greenpeace have been targeting BP intensively, claiming the firm has “caused more carbon emissions in the last fifty years than any other European company”.
They also accuse it of being the highest-spending lobbyist against climate legislation amongst the oil majors.
A fringe event on achieving ‘climate zero’ at the SNP conference in Aberdeen in October, according to political rivals, was among those to receive sponsorship from the oil firm.
Richard George, climate campaigner for Greenpeace and one of the activists at BP’s headquarters, said: “This morning police managed to block our solar installation, but BP are trying to block the transition to clean energy on a global scale.
“Their lobbyists have the ear of governments around the world, they spend millions blocking action to fix the climate emergency and billions on drilling for more oil and gas to make it worse.
“Floods, droughts, forest fires and hurricanes all over the globe start right here with the plans made in BP’s headquarters.”
He added: “Their new CEO needs to accept that if BP wants to keep trading in the twenty-first century, they need to switch to 100% renewable energy.
“We’re not going to settle for a green-themed rebrand, solar panels on their petrol stations or wind turbines on their oil rigs. The only realistic response to the climate emergency is to cut emissions.
“BP need to stop wasting billions drilling for more oil and gas that we simply can’t burn, and produce a plan to get out of the oil business entirely.”
A number of arrests are understood to have been made.
Mr Looney, who was believed to be in Germany as the protest took place, is widely expected to make a speech next week on energy transition.
In a statement issued via Twitter on Mr Looney’s first day, BP said: “He shares their deep concern about climate change and will set out his low carbon ambition for the company next week. He hopes that what he has to say then will give people a sense that we get it and are very serious about working to address the problem.”
IMAGE CREDITS: @BP_UK & Greenpeace Media