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The Guardian: Greenpeace blocks BP HQ with solar panels on new CEO’s first day

Greenpeace members have blocked BP’s headquarters with solar panels and oil barrels to mark Bernard Looney’s first day as chief executive.

About 100 environmental activists took 500 solar panels to the central London building at 3am on Wednesday as Looney prepared to take up his new role. Some protesters sat underneath the solar panels after they were prevented from installing them on the pavements and roads near the office.

Others locked themselves to oil barrels bearing the BP logo in front of the six doors around the building to stop staff from entering. About half of the activists remained outside the premises in St James’s Square, close to Piccadilly Circus, four hours after the start of the demonstration.

BP has frequently been challenged by climate change activists, who have targeted its sponsorship of art institutions and its alleged lobbying.

In June, protesters from Extinction Rebellion targeted the Royal Opera House during a BP-sponsored screening of Romeo and Juliet.

Last year the Royal Shakespeare Company ended its partnership with the oil company, which had sponsored the theatre’s £5 ticket scheme for 16- to 25-year-olds.

Looney, who was visiting staff in Germany on Wednesday, shared the “deep concerns” of climate protesters, BP said in a statement.

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