Fossil Free London staged a protest outside the closing dinner for International Petroleum Week, a three day conference during which the oil and gas industry assemble to celebrate their role in causing planetary-scale destruction in pursuit of profit.
The conference aimed ‘to help define the sector’s role in delivering a low carbon future’. Major fossil fuel companies were in attendance. Many of them make a big public show about their renewable and low carbon investments, though they actually constitute only a few percent of their portfolio — a thin veneer of greenwash which they hope will hide their ongoing huge emissions from coal, oil and gas.
Local climate activists Fossil Free London attended to highlight that fossil fuels companies are not welcome in London. We’re not falling for their greenwashing.
Protesters held a banner with the words Fossil Fuels = Climate Crisis. They wore masks bearing the face of Bernard Looney, the new CEO of BP, and mockingly covered the words "climate crisis" with green paint.
Why pick on Bernard Looney, out of so many attendees from oil majors? BP has spent huge amounts of money claiming to be climate-friendly, while committing less than four percent of its investments to doing so.
Bernard Looney himself was head of exploration before becoming CEO. One of his first major statements was a declaration that BP would become net-zero by 2050, but with no detail on how that would be achieved. Until BP commits to an urgent end to exploration and extraction, the new plans are no more than greenwash.
Joanna Warrington, who was at the protest, said: “As our planet floods and burns, BP seems to have realised that continuing to brazenly ignore or deny the climate crisis is no longer a viable PR strategy.
"But instead of changing their business plan, getting out of fossil fuels and into the clean, renewable energy the world needs, BP are just changing their branding.
"All the “low carbon” greenwash in the world won’t hide the damage that fossil fuels — and fossil fuel companies — are causing to people around the world who are already experiencing the floods, fires and storms of climate breakdown. In the low-carbon future the world urgently needs, there can be no place for fossil fuels.”
This article is based on a press release from Fossil Free London.