Extinction Rebellion activists blockaded a BP oil terminal in Hamble, Hampshire, demanding an end to ongoing “greenwashing” by the Government and fossil fuel industry.
Protesters locked themselves onto to barrels, lying across both road freight entrances to the BP terminal, blocking tanker lorries from accessing the facility that supplies fuel to service stations across the south of England.
Others were slowing down tankers arriving at the site. Some were dressed up as ‘Dirty Scrubbers’ and were removing layers of green paint on oil drums which had slogans on them that read: “Broken promises / Burning Planet” and “Govt MER Strategy / Maximises emissions”.
In a Facebook post, the group said they were symbolically washing away “the soothing promises peddled by the UK Government and the fossil fuel industry to reveal the business as usual continuing to destroy our planet.”
Extinction Rebellion campaigners say that this protest is one of a number of actions that will take place across the country in the lead up to the G7 summit, which will take place on 11-13 June in Cornwall. Extinction Rebellion has also apologised in advance for disruptions that their actions may cause during the summit.
The group tweeted that they were calling on the Government to scrap the strategy of Maximum Economic Recovery for oil and gas, and to stop issuing new exploration and production licences to the fossil fuel industry. They also called on the G7 to phase out fossil fuels.
James Hill, a spokesman for Extinction Rebellion South East continued: “The Government continues to announce paper targets to reduce emissions but it is still business as usual for fossil fuel companies.
“There is new exploration, new 20-year production licences and new investment in fossil fuel infrastructure locking us into future greenhouse gas emissions at a time when the fossil fuel phase out should already be under way.
“The UK Government’s policy is for Maximum Economic Recovery (MER) of oil and gas; this is incompatible with the urgent need for rapid transition away from fossil fuels to limit global heating to 1.5C
“We call on the Government to stop the greenwash, to scrap their MER strategy, end subsidies to the fossil fuel industry and accelerate the transition to renewables.”
A BP spokesman said: “Our priority is ensuring the safety of people and operations. BP supports the goals of the Paris Agreement and our ambition is to be a net zero company by 2050 or sooner.
“To achieve this, our strategy will see us increase our spending on renewable energy ten-fold over this decade, to around five billion dollars a year, and also reduce our oil and gas production by 40 per cent
He added that the company had recently entered the offshore wind energy market in both the US and UK, and that BP already operates the UK’s most-used electric car vehicle charging network with plans to expand over the next decade.
Hampshire Constabulary were aware of the protest, and had officers at the scene. A spokesman said: “Officers are on scene to facilitate the protesters’ right to peaceful protest, to ensure the health and safety of those involved and to minimise the impact on the local community and businesses.
No arrests have been made.
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