Environmental campaigners are bracing themselves for a week locked in a reinforced box with nothing but a bit of Netflix to pass the time in protest at BP’s lack of action on climate change.
Greenpeace volunteers arrived at the oil giant’s offices in St James’ Square, central London, at around 3am on Monday 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 to disrupt its annual general meeting.
The campaigners are demanding that BP immediately ends all exploration for new oil and gas and switches to investing only in renewable energy.
If it does not, Greenpeace is calling for it to wind down its operations completely and go out of business.
Morten Thaysen, 31, told the Press Association: “I think it has dawned on a lot of us that this isn’t something that will only affect the next generation, it is affecting us now.
“It is taking politicians a long time to respond to our climate emergency because of companies like this. BP has spent millions lobbying against the exact climate action that we need.
“It’s all about greed and making as much money as possible. And whether we have a liveable planet in the next 10 years does not matter to them.
“This is not a day occupation, we have volunteers camping inside containers at the entrance of BP. They have supplies that should last for a while.
“There are two people in each container – we’ve even got some Netflix in there too. But there is no natural light or much room to move about, but people are so passionate about this.
“BP has two options: to transition to a 100% energy renewable company, or just wind down. This is not just about BP, it’s about all of us. Even if we monitor our daily living habits, if companies like BP refuse to change, what we do won’t matter as much.”
He warned BP that Greenpeace activists would be in Aberdeen on Tuesday long with other environmental groups for the start of the AGM.
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 an office building in this way is dangerous and clearly a matter for the police to resolve as swiftly as possible.”
At 5.30pm on Monday the Met said four people had been arrested for aggravated trespass after a number of protesters scaled a buidling.
It said there were no reported injuries, and police remained on the scene.
The force earlier cordoned off the roads leading to the square, and only people working in neighbouring buildings were allowed through.
BP staff were sent home.
Earlier on Monday, other Greenpeace volunteers abseiled off the building to unfurl a banner reading “Climate Emergency”.
According to Greenpeace’s research, BP is outspending other oil giants on lobbying campaigns against climate action and spent 16 billion US dollars (£12.6 billion) adding to its oil and gas reserves in 2018.
Greenpeace said only 500 million dollars (£392.8) was invested in alternatives to fossil fuels.