Greenpeace activists staged a socially distanced protest outside BP’s Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, which is being broadcast from the company’s London headquarters.
Three protesters, brandishing a banner stating, “BP: Time to go renewable”, set up in front of BP’s office in London’s St James’s Square.
Mel Evans, senior climate campaigner for Greenpeace UK, said, “BP’s boss Bernard Looney promised to re-imagine BP but shareholders have been let down with empty statements and precious little action.
“Mr Looney says he is committed to ‘net-zero’ while also promising that BP will be in the oil and gas business for ‘a very long time’. He cannot have it both ways.
“The only way BP can address its climate impact is to stop drilling for new oil and gas and switch to renewables. Otherwise investors can expect more turmoil to come.”
Security guards outside the building confirmed that Mr Looney is at the headquarters for the broadcast. Police arrived on the scene and were happy for protesters to stay.
The Greenpeace protest comes after a cohort of green groups, including WWF, RSPB, and Global Witness sent an open letter to Mr Looney, stating that he owes shareholders answers.
The letter, which had eight signatories, set out five questions for Mr Looney:
- What do these mixed messages mean for investors, workers, and for the climate target to halve carbon emissions this decade?
- When will BP stop exploring for new oil and gas?
- Will BP retire its North Sea assets and support investment and jobs in offshore wind and decommissioning oil rigs?
- Will BP reduce its absolute emissions, rather than pursuing a greenwashed ‘net zero’ plan based on unfeasible offsets and carbon storage technologies which you yourself accept “don’t exist”?
- Will you protect BP’s future by shifting capital expenditure to invest heavily in renewables?
BP’s AGM takes place during one of the most volatile periods in the oil industry’s history. Oil demand collapsed almost 30% in April, and is projected to fall almost 20% in May, The knock on effect on prices has seen Brent Crude slump from around $65 / barrel in January to around $30 / barrel.
“Mr Looney recently told the FT: “It’s gotten more likely [oil will] be less in demand… Could it be peak oil? Possibly.”