Greenpeace blocks BP’s headquarters on Looney’s first day as new boss

Greenpeace activists have delivered hundreds of solar panels and blocked an entrance to BP’s headquarters in London on Bernard Looney’s first day in the office as the company’s new CEO. 

Source: Greenpeace

Greenpeace said on Wednesday that, at 3am this morning, 100 of its activists delivered 500 solar panels with a total area of over 800 square meters to BP’s London headquarters in St James’ Square, London.

According to Greenpeace, all six office doors around the building have been blocked with activists locked to dirty oil barrels to prevent staff from entering.

Police prevented the activists from installing the panels on the pavements and roads surrounding the offices but there are currently 50 activists blocking the road outside the HQ, the organization added.

Source: Greenpeace

It is worth reminding that BP’s Bob Dudley decided to retire from the CEO role and was replaced by Bernard Looney, previously BP’s chief executive, Upstream. Dudley stepped down from the role following delivery of BP’s 2019 full-year results on February 4, 2020, and will retire on March 31, 2020.

Greenpeace said that BP’s new CEO, Bernard Looney, is expected to commission a report on BP’s future direction in a warming world, to be published in the summer.

“But despite the warm words, BP are still intending to spend $71 billion developing new oil and gas fields this decade – £32 for every £1 they invest in renewables – and they are a world leader in lobbying to block legislation which could speed up the decarbonisation of our economy. The Trump administration has given a significant boost to their efforts in recent years, abandoning or weakening environmental regulations at BP’s request,” Greenpeace stated.

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.

“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.”

The activists will be keeping the offices closed to ensure that Looney’s mind is focussed on the most important part of his new job, how to stop causing the climate crisis, Greenpeace concluded.

In a statement responding to Greenpeace’s protest, BP said that its new CEO Bernard Looney is visiting employees in Germany today, but he understands the frustration and anger of protestors in London.

“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,” BP said.

It is also worth mentioning that a UK court on Tuesday granted permission to Greenpeace to challenge the legality of a BP’s North Sea drilling permit.

Greenpeace argued that the government was wrong to award BP a permit to drill in the Vorlich oil field, north of Inverness, because it failed to properly consult the public on its decision.

At a hearing in the High Court, Justice Lang granted Greenpeace permission to proceed with a judicial review case against the government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. BP was named as an interested party in the case.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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