Climate campaigners prepare for protests at oil giant’s AGM

Greenpeace activists blocked access to BP's headquarters in London. Picture: PA
Greenpeace activists blocked access to BP's headquarters in London. Picture: PA
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Campaigners from cyclone-hit Mozambique will join protesters at BP’s AGM in Aberdeen today, accusing the company of helping to drive “deadly and destructive” climate change.

The protesters say the activities of the oil company are worsening climate change in an area hit by two of Africa’s most deadly storms.

Over 1,000 people are known to have died in Cyclone Idai which hit Mozambique earlier this year.

While scientists have questioned whether climate change is increasing the frequency of such storms, cyclones appear to be increasing in intensity.

Yesterday Greenpeace campaigners blocked the entrance to BP’s office in central London in protest at what they call the company’s lack of action on climate change.

Friends of the Earth (FoE) said BP is funding the expansion of gas extraction in Africa where scientists believe climate change is helping increase the strength of storms. Ilham Rawoot, Ja! For Change (Friends of the Earth Mozambique) claimed BP would be the sole buyer of gas from the Coral LNG Project in Mozambique, which is led by Italian energy firm Eni.

She said: “The development will affect the UNESCO-protected Quirimbas archipelago, home to coral reefs and a wide diversity of marine and terrestrial species including the endangered sei whale, Indian yellow-nosed albatross and loggerhead turtle. The environmental impact assessment shows that just this one project will increase the greenhouse gas emissions of Mozambique by 10 per cent by 2022.”

FoE said that after the protest at BP’s AGM, activists will go inside to “ask BP to close these destructive projects and phase out their fossil fuel operations”.

Caroline Rance, Friends of the Earth Scotland Climate Campaigner, said: “Communities affected by BP oil and gas extraction in Mozambique, Alaska and Brazil are here to demand that they stop these damaging projects.

“Climate science is clear that we urgently need to phase out fossil fuels, yet BP are doing everything they can to squeeze every last drop.”

Yesterday, Greenpeace volunteers arrived at BP’s offices in St James’ Square, central London, at around 3am, where they blocked access points 
with reinforced containers.

Each container has enough space for two activists and the organisation plans to blockade BP for the next week.

A spokeswoman for BP said: “We welcome discussion, debate, even peaceful protest on the important matter of how we must all work together to address the climate challenge, but impeding safe entry and exit from a building in this way is dangerous and clearly a matter for the police to resolve as swiftly as possible.”