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BP staff work from home as Greenpeace blockades London HQ

May 21 2019 05:00
Kelly Gilblom, Bloomberg
Greenpeace activists blockade all entrances to the

Greenpeace activists blockade all entrances to the BP headquarters in London, demanding an end to all new oil and gas exploration. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Greenpeace via Getty Images)

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BP is continuing normal operations as employees work from home after Greenpeace put up barriers on the entrances to its London headquarters.

The environmental group said volunteers arrived at BP’s office at 3 a.m. on Monday. They “encased themselves in specially designed, toughened containers weighing several tons each, blockading all the HQ’s main entrances and preventing staff from entering the building,” the organisation said in a statement.

The protest echoes a similar days-long event organized by activists from Extinction Rebellion last month. The group glued themselves to trains, blockaded parts of London and vandalised Royal Dutch Shell’s UK headquarters to draw attention to a "climate emergency."

Greenpeace said Monday it will stop protesting at BP if the company ends its investment in oil and gas entirely and becomes a renewable-energy company, or if it winds down its operations and chooses to go out of business. Greenpeace said its volunteers had enough food and water to last a week.

“We respect the right of people to peacefully express their views but are concerned that this should not risk their or others’ safety,” a BP spokesman said in an emailed statement. “We’ll work with police and other authorities to safely resolve the situation.”

BP employees are working remotely or from other offices until they can return to the headquarters, the spokesman said.

About 40 activists from Extraction Rebellion and the Sierra Club descended on BP’s US headquarters in Denver Monday, demanding a meeting with the company to discuss their concerns about oil and gas development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. BP is one of several oil majors with operations in nearby Prudhoe Bay. Its Denver office opened last year.

The company’s annual general meeting is on Tuesday in Aberdeen, Scotland, where it will face two shareholder resolutions related to climate change. Management has supported one of the proposals, and said it will begin issuing specific reports on how BP’s investments are aligned with the Paris climate accord.

“People around the world are demanding radical action to stop a climate breakdown and secure a better future,” said Paul Morozzo, a Greenpeace activist. “It’s clear there simply is no place for companies like BP in that future.”

bp  |  greenpeace  |  climate change
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