Greenpeace climate activists protested oil and gas giant BP’s exploration of fossil fuels by blockading the company’s headquarters in central London on Monday, May 20th.
The entrance to the office building in St James’s Square was blocked by several containers, while the front saw climbers scaling down to unveil banners and big letters starting to spell out the words ‘Climate Emergency’. The heavy-duty, box-shaped containers encased protestors on the inside and were covered in images by photographer Gideon Mendel, showing “people already affected by #ClimateEmergency”, as Greenpeace wrote on the organisation’s Twitter account.
“We are at a point in history where we need to make drastic changes fast so we can avoid some of the worst consequences climate change can have on us in the future,” explained Greenpeace climate campaigner, Morten Thaysen, to 7Dnews.
The protest today, Thaysen said, was only the beginning. Planned is a “long-term blockade” to highlight the message of needed action against climate change to “the public and to BP on the day before their AGM”. The company’s Annual General Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 21st, according to the company’s website and supposed to give shareholders both a commentary on BP’s performance and on priorities for the future.
Greenpeace is concerned that BP is still investing billions in finding new reserves and ways to exploit fossil fuel, while already having oil and gas amounts in development that, as the activists are saying, surpass what could be burned while staying in line with climate commitments.
While conceding that BP is investing in renewable energies and the problem as a whole is “definitely a bigger issue than just BP”, Greenpeace still wants it known that BP in particular have “spent a lot of money lobbying against climate action” and tried to “prevent the exact political changes that we needed to see decades ago to not be in the situation we’re in today”.
“At the moment, BP’s business model is not sustainable with a liveable future for us. As a person, I’m concerned about what our future is going to look like in 10 years, in 20 years,” said Thaysen.