LONDON, As BP announces its second quarter loses and a new boss, Greenpeace activists have shut down every BP petrol station in central London, putting up signs saying: ‘Closed. Moving beyond petroleum’.
BP is expected to announce the appointment of Bob Dudley as the company’s new CEO, formerly the group vice-president for alternative and renewable energy. The BP board is also expected to announce record losses after setting aside around US$25-$30 billion to pay for the massive clean-up operation and legal fees resulting from the huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. (1)
“BP’s new boss, Bob Dudley, should overturn current plans to extract oil from risky deepwater wells off Libya and in the Arctic, where a spill could have consequences even more devastating than in the Gulf, as well as from the ‘tar sands’ of Canada,” warned Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director Greenpeace International. (2)
“A change in leadership is a key opportunity for BP to cut its loses in more ways than one, by turning away from high-cost and environmentally reckless sources of oil, like deepwater drilling and Canadian tar sands, towards an energy revolution based on clean energy sources,” said Naidoo.
Fifty BP petrol stations were shut down by small teams, which used a shut off switch to stop the flow of fuel at each location. The switches are being safely removed to prevent the stations from re-opening.
At one station (3), Greenpeace climbers replaced BP’s now infamous green logo with one better reflecting what the company’s brand currently stands for in the public mind – a logo the BP ‘sunflower’ disappearing into a sea of oil.
“The time has come for BP to move beyond oil. Under Tony Hayward the company went backwards, squeezing the last drops of oil from places like the Gulf of Mexico, tar sands of Canada and even the fragile Arctic wilderness.
“We’ve shut down all of BP’s stations in London to give the new boss a chance to come up with a better plan. They’re desperate for us to believe they’re going ‘beyond petroleum’. Well, now’s the time to prove it,” said John Sauven, Executive Director Greenpeace UK.
Industry analysts agree that Bob Dudley will come under intense pressure to outline a new strategy to revive the company’s fortunes as its share price is currently 40% lower than before the disaster.
The deepwater disaster is a global wake up call and Greenpeace is calling for:
- An immediate ban on new offshore drilling and exploration of all high-risk unconventional oil sources (including in the Arctic and the Canadian tar sands)
- An end to fossil fuel subsidies and an increase in support for clean energy
- Strong laws and policies that limit climate change and stimulate a clean energy revolution.
Contacts: For more information and live interviews with Greenpeace at the BP station in Camden, North London, contact: Beth Herzfeld, Greenpeace International media officer, tel: +44 (0)7717 802 891
Photos/video: Daphne Christelis, photo editor, , tel: + 44 (0)20 7865 8118 Marge Glynn, video production, , tel: +44 (0)7914 716 004
Notes to editors:
(1) A company presentation by Tony Hayward in March shows that over the course of 2010, BP planned to invest US$19 billion in its oil and gas business compared with less than US$1 billion on all alternative technologies combined. (p. 67).
(2) Extracting oil from tar sands is around three times as damaging to the climate than drilling for regular crude. Alex D. Charpentier, Joule A. Bergerson and Heather L.MacLean. Understanding the Canadian oil sands industry’s greenhouse gas emissions, Environmental Research Letters 1 (2009)
(3) The station is located in Camden, north London. The replacement logo was designed as part of a Greenpeace competition, which attracted over 2,500 entries over six weeks. See www.greenpeace.org.uk/bp for more information.