Greenpeace activists have blockaded all entrances to BP headquarters in London, demanding an end to all new oil and gas exploration.
The campaigners arrived at 3am on Monday and encased themselves in heavy containers before the oil company’s annual general meeting.
Greenpeace UK (@GreenpeaceUK)
Activists are blocking the entrances to BP’s London HQ. They have set up camp inside specially designed containers. BP can’t continue as if it’s business as usual in this #ClimateEmergency we’re in. #BPshutdown pic.twitter.com/9FaaLMajo5May 20, 2019
The containers, each weighing several tonnes, are being used to blockade all five entrances to prevent staff from entering BP’s offices in St James’s Square.
Greenpeace said it was carrying out the action because BP was behaving as if the climate emergency was not happening.
Greenpeace UK (@GreenpeaceUK)
We're blockading @BP_plc's London offices because they're acting as if the #ClimateEmergency isn't happening. Instead, BP is investing billions in new oil and fueling the crisis that will harm billions #BPShutdown pic.twitter.com/wlHYFSHESYMay 20, 2019
The group accused BP of “fuelling” the emergency and called on the company to “end the search for new oil and gas and start a rapid switch to 100% renewables”.
The containers feature photographs from Gideon Mendel’s Drowning World project, which looks at the impact of the climate emergency on people worldwide.
The activists have set up a camp to attempt to keep the building closed for the next seven days.
A spokesman for Greenpeace said that by 8am on Monday police had attempted to clear the area of pedestrians but had not carried out any arrests.
Paul Morozzo, one of the Greenpeace activists , said: “We’re shutting down BP’s HQ because business as usual is just not an option. BP is fuelling a climate emergency that threatens millions of lives and the future of the living world.
“The science is clear – we must stop searching for new oil and gas if we want a liveable planet. BP must clean up or clear out.”
Morozzo added: “For too long, BP and the oil industry have paid lip service to climate action while lying and lobbying against it behind the scenes and spending billions scouring the world for more oil and gas. The reality is that BP’s whole business plan is a heavy bet against our hopes to avoid a climate catastrophe and must change.”
Greenpeace claims BP is outspending other oil giants on lobbying campaigns against climate action and spent $16bn (£12.6bn) adding to its oil and gas reserves in 2018.
It said only $500m (£392.8m) was invested in alternatives to fossil fuels.
In February, hundreds of environmental activists occupied the British Museum in protest against BP’s longstanding sponsorship of the museum.
The Metropolitan police said officers were called to BP’s HQ just after 4am after reports of protesters scaling the building. A spokeswoman said police were at the scene but no arrests had been made or roads closed.