Greenpeace activists march on BP’s London HQ over Amazon drilling
Oil giant BP had its international headquarters besieged by inflatable sea creatures this morning, as environmentalists protested over a forthcoming drilling project.
A procession of 30 Greenpeace volunteers, equipped with giant inflatable marine life including twelve four metre long tropical fish and jellyfish – including one colourfully named “Kylie Minnow” proceeded along The Mall and past Trafalgar Square to reach the building shortly after 8am.
Signs reading “BP: Back off the Amazon Reef” were held up alongside the colourful procession.
Greenpeace marched on the central London office to take a stand against as BP plans to search for oil near the recently discovered Amazon Reef off the coast of South America next year. The group said the exploratory drilling work risks an oil spill which could prove catastrophic for sea life.
The campaigners delivered a petition with over a million signatures asking BP not to drill near the reef, along with a map to show the company where the reef is.
The Amazon Reef is a 5,000 square kilometre coral reef in the Amazon Mouth Basin, off the coast of Brazil. It was filmed and photographed for the first time ever by a Greenpeace expedition in February this year, and is a unique, biodiverse and largely unexplored ecosystem. BP and French oil company Total both intend to drill for oil in the area, with their shared blocks beginning only 5 miles away from the reef. Many marine scientists have expressed their dismay at the risk of an oil spill devastating the reef before it has even been studied.
“Everyone at Greenpeace was incredibly excited to be involved in capturing the first images of the Amazon reef, and we’re not about to let BP destroy a natural wonder before it’s even been explored. We’ve brought along these amazing creatures as reef ambassadors and a tiny taste of the beauty that is under threat from BP’s plans,” says Sara Ayech, oil campaigner for Greenpeace UK.
“Because their survey of the area missed it entirely, despite it being three times the size of London, we’ve also brought BP a map showing where the reef is, and the signatures of over a million people who don’t want to risk destroying a whole new ecosystem for the sake of oil we can’t afford to burn.”
Activists said they intended to remain camped outside BP, in St James’s Square, for several hours on Monday morning.
Image credit: Chris Ratcliffe, Greenpeace