A BP oil terminal which supplies petrol stations across the south of England is being blockaded by Extinction Rebellion activists highlighting Government and fossil fuel industry “greenwash” policies

Four protesters locked to oil barrels are lying across the entrance to the facility in Hamble, Hampshire, preventing tanker lorries from accessing the site.

Other demonstrators have dressed up as cleaning ladies to remove layers of green paint on the drums which have slogans on them saying: “Broken promises / Burning Planet” and “Govt MER Strategy / Maximises emissions”.

The protest is one of several being held by the group ahead of the G7 summit in Cornwall.

James Hill, Extinction Rebellion south east spokesman, said: “The Government continues to announce paper targets to reduce emissions but it is still business as usual for fossil fuel companies.

“There is new exploration, new 20-year production licences and new investment in fossil fuel infrastructure locking us into future greenhouse gas emissions at a time when the fossil fuel phase out should already be under way.

“The UK Government’s policy is for Maximum Economic Recovery (MER) of oil and gas; this is incompatible with the urgent need for rapid transition away from fossil fuels to limit global heating to 1.5 degrees.

“We call on the Government to stop the greenwash, to scrap their MER strategy, end the subsidies to the fossil fuel industry and accelerate the transition to renewables.”

Activists locking down BP’s Southampton oil terminal
Activists locking down BP’s Southampton oil terminal (William Templeton/XR)

A BP spokesman said: “Road tanker traffic in and out of the Hamble terminal, operated by BP, is currently blocked by a demonstration.

“The terminal supplies fuel to service stations in the south of England that are operated by a wide variety of companies.

“Our priority is ensuring the safety of people and operations. BP supports the goals of Paris Agreement and our ambition is to be a net zero company by 2050 or sooner.

“To achieve this, our strategy will see us increase our spending on renewable energy ten-fold over this decade, to around five billion dollars a year, and also reduce our oil and gas production by 40%.

“As examples of progress in this strategy, in the past six months we have entered offshore wind in both the US and the UK.

“And just this morning we announced a new agreement to buy a major pipeline of nine gigawatts of solar developments in the US.

“We already operate the UK’s most-used electric vehicle charging network, BP pulse, and plan to more than double our chargers in the country over the next decade, including at our retail sites.”

A Hampshire police spokesman said: “We are aware of a protest on Hamble Lane that is taking place today.

“Officers are on scene to facilitate the protesters’ right to peaceful protest, to ensure the health and safety of those involved and to minimise the impact on the local community and businesses.

“No arrests have been made at this stage.”