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Climate activists block hotel hosting fossil fuel conference as BP boss gives keynote speech

CLIMATE protesters blocked the entrance to a London hotel hosting a gathering of some of the biggest figures in the global fossil fuel industry today.

Fossil Free London activists blocked the front doors of the Intercontinental Hotel in Mayfair, where the three-day International Energy Week conference is being held.

The group said it launched the protest as BP boss Bernard Looney was due to give his keynote speech in a bid to prevent delegates entering the building. 

Protesters held banners reading: “Climate criminals, enter here,” and “London banks: killing the planet.”

The conference, previously International Petroleum Week, was rebranded a few years ago with a growing focus on energy transition and sustainable finance. 

But Fossil Free says the event is still a prominent platform for the oil industry and its financiers.

Conference speakers include figures from oil giants Shell, BP and Equinor as well as fossil fuel investors Barclays, HSBC and Black Rock. 

Activist Joanna Warrington said: “We’re here to call out the posturing of this conference. 

“We know the same companies that covered up the greatest crisis of our time — and carry on causing it — have changed nothing but their PR campaigns. They are trashing our chance at survival every day.

“Bernard Looney and BP are capitalising on rising energy prices with more oil and gas even as millions are pushed into poverty by bills that have doubled and are soon to go up further,” she said.

The BP boss has publicly backed moving away from fossil fuels but  recently cut the firm’s pledge to reduce emissions.

Nick Turton of the Energy Institute, the conference organiser, said: “These are big important issues and we totally respect the right of the group to express their views, as well as the need for delegates to access the building.”

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