Greenpeace brings BP oil rig standoff to a close with protests across two continents
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Thursday 20 June – The 12 day stand-off between Greenpeace and BP over the company’s North Sea oil rig has been brought to a close with a series of protests targeting the company in Europe and the US.
Activists served a ‘People’s Climate Injunctions’ to BP Headquarters in London and Aberdeen calling on BP and the industry to “immediately end the search for new fossil fuels and start a rapid and just transition to become 100% renewable energy companies”. At the same time the Greenpeace ship the Arctic Sunrise read the injunction directly to the BP oil rig over radio.
Failure to comply with the injunction holds BP and the industry “further responsible for the devastating consequences” felt by the planet and those on the front line of the climate emergency.
In Germany activists protested outside BP’s European headquarters displaying a banner reading “BP Destroys The Climate”. The activists also presented the company with a copy of the injunction. In the US, Austria and all over the UK, activists picketed BP petrol stations. The US activists displayed a banner with the message “Climate Emergency”.
The coordinated protests brings to an end 12 days in which Greenpeace thwarted BP’s attempts to install a new oil rig in the North Sea. A series of legal injunctions were brought against Greenpeace, the climbers and the Arctic Sunrise by BP and its rig contractor Transocean in an attempt to end the protest.
Despite this for five days three sets of Greenpeace UK climbers prevented BP’s rig from leaving the Cromarty Firth in Scotland. This was followed by a further stand off in the North Sea between the rig and the Greenpeace International ship, the Arctic Sunrise, which prevented the rig from reaching the drill site including through a Greenpeace International swimmer blocking the rigs path.
Scientists have been clear that we already have more oil and gas than we can safely burn under the Paris climate agreement if we want to limit catastrophic climate change. Yet BP maintains its desire to both explore for more oil and expand its oil and gas production.
Greenpeace is demanding that BP immediately end drilling new wells and switch to only investing in renewable energy. If BP does not do that, Greenpeace say, it should wind down its operations, return cash to investors and go out of business.
John Sauven, Executive Director at Greenpeace UK said:
“For the past 12 days we’ve seen what one Greenpeace ship and a handful of dedicated activists can achieve in the face of a giant climate-wrecking company. But they weren’t alone. There’s a movement of millions calling on companies like BP to clean up their act and truly address the climate emergency.”