Greenpeace activists have blocked the entrances to BP’s London headquarters, to protest the oil major’s oil and gas exploration operations.

The volunteers encased themselves in toughened containers weighing several tonnes placed at the HQ’s main entrances, preventing staff from entering the building.

This protest action comes a day before BP’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), with the volunteers planning to keep the HQ closed all week.

The group criticised BP’s efforts to expand its oil and gas portfolio demanding that the energy company immediately end all oil and gas exploration and transition to renewable energy or wind down its operations entirely.

Greenpeace activist and container occupant Paul Morozzo said: We’re shutting down BP’s HQ because business as usual is just not an option. BP is fuelling a climate emergency that threatens millions of lives and the future of the living world. The science is clear – we must stop searching for new oil and gas if we want a liveable planet. BP must clean up or clear out.

“At their AGM tomorrow, BP’s Bob Dudley has a choice – he can immediately end oil exploration and start switching to 100% renewables or wind down the company.”

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In a statement ahead of its AGM, BP said: “BP has supported the aim of the Paris Agreement, with its call to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the context of sustainable development and eradicating poverty, since it was agreed in 2015.

“BP is committed to advancing a low carbon future – we want to play our part in tackling the threat of climate change. We welcome this resolution as an opportunity to provide further detail on our strategy and on our attractiveness as an investment proposition in the energy transition, and for continued investor engagement.”

Greenpeace previously criticised BP in March 2019 for lobbying against US methane regulations.

In response to Greenpeace’s protest, 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.”