As Number 10 hosts fossil fuel leaders, a roving billboard tours London to highlight the stark inequalities of the UK's energy system

LONDON, August 2nd, 2023 – BP boss Bernard Looney was spotted topless outside Downing Street this morning, flouting his enormous package ahead of an oiled-up tryst with fossil fuels superfan Grant Shapps. 

This sleazy satirical vision on the side of a digi-van was cooked up by Global Witness, as part of the OilyFans campaign. Meanwhile, inside Number 10 Net Zero Minister Shapps is hosting the bosses of BP, Shell and other big UK energy players to discuss energy security and investment, and new policing powers to crack down on oil and gas protests.

The OilyFans campaign was launched last month after controversial OnlyFans billboards across London received a barrage of complaints. Global Witness rebranded these as 'OilyFans' to raise awareness of the obscene amounts of money that oil executives earned from the energy crisis. The OilyFans billboard, erected across London, references BP CEO Bernard Looney's huge pay ‘package’.

The digi-van billboard will be touring London’s landmarks from Wednesday to Sunday, visiting iconic monuments such as Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, The London Eye and Oxford Street. It highlights the stark inequalities at the heart of the UK’s energy system, which has seen energy bosses like Looney take home millions while millions of Brits have been struggling to pay their gas bills.

This comes a day after BP reported handing £6 billion to shareholders through dividends and share buybacks in 2023. On Monday, the government re-announced its plans to award over 100 new oil and gas licenses in the North Sea. This would lock the country deeper into a fossil fuel dependency that has left the UK with the highest energy bills in Western Europe.  

As Global Witness reported on Tuesday, leading Conservative politicians are reported to have close financial ties to companies that could benefit from the government’s pro-oil agenda, foremost among them the prime minister.

Alexander Kirk, Fossil Fuels Campaigner, said:

“Number 10 is hosting the UK’s fossil fuel giants for an OilyFans get-together today, celebrating Rishi Sunak’s huge climate-wrecking U-turn. Sunak’s decision to double down on expensive, dirty, and unreliable North Sea oil, most of which will be exported, serves no one but big oil executives and the politicians who do their bidding.

“The OilyFans campaign is a reminder that the £10 million in pay that Bernard Looney took home last year would take the average UK worker 300 years to earn. In a year when parents were sending their kids to school hungry, and pensioners were riding the bus all day to stay warm, Bernard Looney was laughing all the way to the bank.”

Notes to Editor

  1. High Resolutions Pictures available in the Global Witness Media Library, with updates throughout the day. Your publication have full-rights and licence to use the images provided.
  2. More information on the OilyFans campaign can be found here.