Greta Thunberg was arrested at a protest outside an oil and gas conference – formerly known as the “Oil and Money” conference – at a luxury five-star hotel in London on Tuesday, eyewitnesses told CNN.
London’s Metropolitan Police said in a statement posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, that several arrests had been made outside a hotel in London’s Park Lane. But it wouldn’t confirm to CNN that Thunberg was among those arrested.
The 20-year-old was attending a demonstration organized by climate group Fossil Free London outside the Intercontinental Hotel, which is hosting the Energy Intelligence Forum, an annual summit that brings together chief executives from oil and gas companies such as TotalEnergies, Shell and Aramco.
Thunberg and other protestors blocked entrances at the hotel, trying to prevent delegates from entering.
The Energy Intelligence Forum had not responded to CNN’s request for comment at the time of publication.
Thunberg said in a statement released by Fossil Free London before her arrest, “we have no choice but to disrupt” because “our world is being swept away by greenwashing and lies.”
She added: “The fossil fuel industry has actively distracted and delayed. They have created loopholes to allow their business to go on at the expense of the planet. We are choking from their fumes.”
Greenpeace, which also attended the protest, said in a statement that hundreds of demonstrators, including Thunberg, “faced a heavy police presence as they gathered in front of the luxury Park Lane hotel to protest against the influence of the fossil fuel industry on UK and global climate politics.”
The organization said that protestors had blocked all the entrances to the hotel from 8 a.m. local time while two climbers abseiled from the top of the building, unfurling a 30-meter (98-foot) long banner reading “Make Big Oil Pay.”
At a press conference earlier in the day, Thunberg called out “spineless politicians” for meeting with oil industry lobbyists, according to Greenpeace’s statement.
Thunberg is no stranger to police interactions over climate protests. In January, she was detained by police at a coal mine protest in January and in July she was fined by a Swedish court for disobeying police after participating in a June protest, which blocked oil tankers in part of Malmö harbor, Sweden.
Tuesday’s protest marks the first of three days of action aimed at shutting down the conference, Greenpeace said
CNN’s Issy Ronald and Laura Paddison contributed reporting.