ENVIRONMENTAL activists plan to confront BP executives in Aberdeen today at a high-ranking meeting to demand an end to new oil and gas exploration.

Friends of the Earth Scotland say campaigners plan to get into the annual general meeting at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre to ask BP "to close these destructive projects" and phase out their fossil fuel operations.

The new move came as Greenpeace protesters used cranes to transport the heavy boxes into place at St James's Square in London and said it aimed to keep the headquarters closed "for at least the whole of the week" of the annual general meeting.

Campaigners abseiled down the side of the building to block windows and display banners.

HeraldScotland:

Greenpeace says those inside the containers have enough food and water to last them for several days.

Meanwhile campaigners from Extinction Rebellion Scotland are to hold a People’s Assembly in Aberdeen city centre. A separate is planned for a BP petrol station in Fort William as the energy firm executives meet.

Caroline Rance, Friends of the Earth Scotland climate campaigner, who will be attending the AGM, commented: "BP's activities are driving lethal changes to our climate which are hitting the world's poorest hardest. Communities affected by BP oil and gas extraction in Mozambique, Alaska and Brazil are here to demand that they stop these damaging projects.

"Climate science is clear that we urgently need to phase out fossil fuels, yet BP are doing everything they can to squeeze every last drop. BP must stop wrecking indigenous communities and the global climate and put its fossil fuel operations into a managed decline.

"Real climate leadership means making tough decisions now that put us on a path to a climate safe future. A Just Transition for workers and communities currently dependent on high carbon industries here in Scotland is an essential part of that."

A Police Scotland spokesman said: "Police Scotland is aware of the BP AGM taking place in Aberdeen and of the protests at BP in London. We recognise the right to protest peacefully and any such event will be policed appropriately."

Since BP’s 2018 carbon emissions rose to their highest in six years, the London-based energy firm has been lobbied by activists and an increasing number of shareholders to ensure its operations are in line with goals set by the 2015 Paris climate deal to curb global warming.

It comes after it emerged last month that BP had approved the latest in a series of North Sea developments while seeing profits fall eight per cent in the first quarter amid oil price volatility.

Chief financial officer Brian Gilvary noted the energy firm had approved a number of key projects during the quarter.

These include plans to develop the Seagull field in the North Sea, which Mr Gilvary described as an advantaged oil project.

Last year BP approved plans to develop the Vorlich find east of Aberdeen and the Alligin field West of Shetland.

BP plans to double its North Sea production to 200,000 barrels of oil per day by 2020, and add 900,000 of globally by 2021.

But the company has cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2.5 million tonnes since the start of 2016, putting it on its way to hit a target of 3.5m tonnes by 2025.

The approvals reflect a big change in the company’s attitude to the North Sea since selling off a raft of older North Sea assets and shed hundreds of jobs in the area in response to the crude price plunge between 2014 and 2016.

BP is already under pressure to set tougher targets to combat climate change from investors who want the oil and gas industry to do more to clean up its act.

BP has already backed a resolution being put to investors tomorrow for it to be more transparent about its emissions, link executive pay to reducing emissions from BP’s operations and show how future investments meet Paris goals.

The motion, proposed by BP and a group of 58 shareholders holding 10 percent of its shares, known as Climate Action 100+, is expected to pass at BP’s annual meeting in Aberdeen.

But some investors want BP to go further and follow the lead of rival Royal Dutch Shell, which bowed to years of lobbying and set the toughest industry targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

A separate resolution drawn up by activist group Follow This that would require BP to reduce emissions not just from its own activities but also from the fuel and products it sells to customers, is said to have little chance of passing.

Follow This and other activists have proposed a similar resolution to shareholders of US energy firm Chevron, while a Follow This motion was rejected by investors in Norway’s majority state-owned Equinor last week Exxon Mobil, the world’s biggest listed energy firm, has also been pushed by some investors to set emissions targets.

In a statement, BP said: "We welcome discussion, debate, even peaceful protest on the important matter of how we must all work together to address the climate challenge, but impeding safe entry and exit from an office building in this way is dangerous and clearly a matter for the police to resolve as swiftly as possible."