Protesters disrupt BP meeting as boss recommits extra money for fossil fuels

A woman shouted that chairman Helge Lund was ‘not telling the truth about the climate crisis’.

Seven protesters have been removed by security from BP’s annual shareholder meeting, as they repeatedly interrupted chairman Helge Lund and chief executive Bernard Looney as the meeting began.

It came as Mr Looney recommitted the company to a plan to invest a further eight billion dollars (£6.4 billion) in oil and gas by 2030, on top of an equivalent extra investment in the energy transition.

A woman initially shouted that Mr Lund was “not telling the truth about the climate crisis”, as he started speaking at the ExCel centre in London’s Custom House.

Referring to BP’s plan to have net zero emissions by the middle of the century, she said: “2050 is far too late. We are nearly at the tipping point.”

Once she was taken out by security, several other protesters got up, one by one, each being removed by security in turn.

One man was carried out of the room.

As she was led out, one protester shouted: “BP must fall, BP must fall, BP must fall.”

Speaking from the stage, Mr Lund looked back at BP’s path towards what he claims to be a greener future.

“I begin with 2019 because we saw accelerated concerns about climate change, a threat scientists had been warning about for decades – finally leading to a broad and intensified impetus for action,” he said.

“And we at BP welcomed that shift, because it began to bring what the world wanted more closely in line with what the world needed.”

However, Mr Lund said that the board recommended investors should vote against a resolution brought by shareholder group Follow This, which is aimed at forcing the company to meet the targets in the Paris Climate Agreement.

He said: “I and we do not doubt the good intentions of all of this and their supporters.

“We share their desire for the world to meet the Paris goals, but this resolution is not the answer.

“What it calls for BP to do is unclear. It does not recognise that our strategy, ambitions and aims constitute a coherent and integrated programme of transformation for BP.

“Nor does it take into account the update to our strategy in February.

“It would be disruptive of the strong progress BP is making on behalf of its shareholders, the board therefore recommends voting against resolution 25.”

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