BP oil terminal blocked in ‘greenwash’ protest by Extinction Rebellion activists

UK government accused of allowing ‘business as usual’ for fossil fuel companies

Environmental activists Extinction Rebellion have blocked the entrance to the BP Hamble oil terminal in Southampton that supplies petrol stations across the south of England.

They accuse the fossil fuel industry and UK government of “greenwashing” policies to hide the environmental cost.

Demonstrators dressed as cleaning ladies trying to remove layers of green paint from oil drums with slogans that read: “Broken promises / Burning Planet” and “Govt MER Strategy / Maximises emissions”.

“The Government continues to announce paper targets to reduce emissions but it is still business as usual for fossil fuel companies,” said Extinction Rebellion spokesman James Hill.

“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 1.5°," Mr Hill said.

“We call on the government to stop the greenwash, to scrap their MER strategy, end the subsidies to the fossil fuel industry and accelerate the transition to renewables.”

Extinction Rebellion is known for its high-profile campaign against oil companies and blocking slow drivers.
The BP Hamble terminal plays a key role in the region's oil supply.

On Tuesday, a BP spokesman confirmed the demonstration had blocked traffic from entering or leaving the plant and reiterated the company's climate change goals.
"BP supports the goals of the Paris Agreement and our ambition is to be a net-zero company by 2050 or sooner," a BP spokesman said.

“To achieve this, our strategy will see us increase our spending on renewable energy 10-fold over this decade, to around $5 billion a year, and also reduce our oil and gas production by 40 per cent.

“As examples of progress in this strategy, in the past six months we have entered offshore wind in both the US and the UK”, he said.

"We already operate the UK's most-used electric vehicle charging network, BP pulse, and plan to more than double our chargers in the country over the next decade, including at our retail sites."
Hampshire police said no arrests were made.

In June, the UK is hosting the 47th G7 summit, where climate change will be high on the agenda.