Greenpeace activists have blocked access to BP’s headquarters to demand it ends exploration for new oil and gas and switches to investing only in renewable energy.
Some of the protesters encased themselves in containers which have been placed at entry points to the building to stop staff from going in, and said they were prepared to stay until BP "agrees to stop searching for new oil and gas reserves and take the climate emergency seriously".
Volunteers arrived at the oil giant’s offices in St James’ Square, central London, at around 3am on Monday.
The blockade comes ahead of BP’s annual general meeting with shareholders this week, and volunteers have set up a camp to attempt to keep the building closed for the next seven days.
Paul Morozzo, one of the volunteers in the containers, said BP is fuelling a climate emergency and Greenpeace was taking action and "shutting down BP’s HQ because business as usual is just not an option".
The containers, which weigh several tonnes each, feature photos from photographer Gideon Mendel’s Drowning World project.
It looks at the impact of the climate emergency on people across the globe.
A spokesperson for Greenpeace said that by 8am police had attempted to clear the area of pedestrians but had not made any arrests.
BP employees who turned up for work were told to go home.
The Greenpeace campaign comes just weeks after Extinction Rebellion protests against climate change brought parts of London to a standstill for several days.
The campaigners are demanding that BP immediately ends all exploration for new oil and gas and switches to investing only in renewable energy.
They are also calling for BP to wind down its operations completely and go out of business if it cannot meet the organisation's demands.
Mr Morozzo added: “BP is fuelling a climate emergency that threatens millions of lives and the future of the living world.
“The science is clear – we must stop searching for new oil and gas if we want a liveable planet.
"BP must clean up or clear out.”
Mr Morozzo continued: “For too long, BP and the oil industry have paid lip service to climate action while lying and lobbying against it behind the scenes and spending billions scouring the world for more oil and gas.
“The reality is that BP’s whole business plan is a heavy bet against our hopes to avoid a climate catastrophe and must change.”
According to Greenpeace’s research, BP is outspending other oil giants on lobbying campaigns against climate action and spent £12.6 billion adding to its oil and gas reserves in 2018.
Greenpeace said only £392.8 million was invested in alternatives to fossil fuels.
At 8.14am, police were only allowing employees from other businesses to pass through.
An employee from BP said they did not "know what’s happening.
"I’m thinking to go home because it will take the police a while to get the protesters abseiling off the building.”
Another employee added: “I’ve been told to go home. The rest of IT are all going home.”