Picture post: anti-fracking campaigners join BP protest as AGM rejects tougher emission cuts

BP’s emission targets are “too little too late” for the climate, said anti-fracking campaigners protesting against the company in London this morning.

Protest outside the BP annual meeting in London, 12 May 2021. Photo: Rebeca Binda

The action, timed to coincide with the start of the company’s annual general meeting, claimed BP’s climate aims were “deceptive”.

It featured a banner which said $9bn on new fossil fuels! bp = NOT ZERO. It also included street theatre where a group of fake BP directors, seeking to explore for new hydrocarbons, were covered in pretend oil. A team of corporate “greenwashers” then tried, unsuccessfully, to cover them in green paint.

Last year, BP said it aimed to become a net zero company by 2050.

A month later, the BP board rejected a shareholder resolution that called for company emission targets to be consistent with the Paris climate agreement. More than 79% of BP investors voted against the resolution.

BP’s net zero aims were criticised today as “full of loopholes” by the activists from Frack Off London, Fossil Free London, Shale Must Fall, BP or not BP and XR COP26 Hub.

Mariafernanda Duran, an organiser of the protest, said:

“We are here today because BP are continuously misleading the public in their efforts to portray themselves as Green Champions. The plans they have set out will lead us along a dark path of climate catastrophe and, as in the past, they intend to show no accountability.

“BP’s ‘Net Zero by 2050’ ambition is deceptive and no amount of greenwashing can hide the fact that this company continues to extract fossil fuels beyond safe limits.

“BP should not be investing $9 billion this year in fossil fuels, or planning to still be drilling in 2050. We call on BP to phase out their fossil fuel business entirely, in line with the climate science.”

In a statement, BP said it would continue to engage with shareholders on its strategy, targets and aims.

BP’s chief executive, Bernard Looney, said:

“There is no single path to Paris, and there is no single metric that measures Paris consistency.”

Company chairman Helge Lunde said:

“in practice the resolution would constrain BP;s ability to adjust its strategy in future as the energy transition unfolds”.

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