Hundreds of businessmen gathered on London’s Millennium Bridge to call for urgent climate action from the government.
The ‘Queue for climate and nature’ was organized on Friday by Business Declare and Business Stand Up.
Dressed in business clothes, the protesters left work and formed an orderly line along the bridge.
The government said it had invested heavily in the renewable energy sector and that the transition away from fossil fuels “cannot happen overnight”.
People who joined the queue signed an open letter to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and all political parties, calling on them to commit to three key actions to accelerate the transition to a greener world.
He asked them to commit to investing in renewable energy, take action to protect and restore nature and end the development of new fossil fuels in the UK, including approvals for oil and gas exploration.
Charlotte Sewell, co-founder of Business Stand Up, said: “Government action on climate has so far been inadequate.
“We believe our businesses and families will be safe if the government acts now. We cannot do business on a dead planet.”
Ms Sewell said the campaign would put pressure on all political parties ahead of the general election, expected next year.
Chris Turner, chief executive, said the event was “a bit of fun” with a “serious message behind it”.
He added: “We are serious about this crisis. Government, you have to do your part too.”
The CEOs of Ella’s Kitchen and Cook, directors at Divine Chocolate and The Body Shop owner Natura & Co were among the business leaders who backed the campaign.
Char Love, Global Director of Advocacy for Natura & Co, told the BBC: “Let’s be honest, there is no company operating on a planet that has rising emissions levels.
“Now is the moment when we need to work with all parties to ensure climate is a real priority.”
Parisa Wright, who was a solicitor in the City of London, said: “Having been in the business for 20 years, I know there are many companies who want to do the right thing but need support and encouragement from the government.”
TV presenter and wildlife conservationist Chris Packham called on businesses to join the demonstration to “send a clear message to our politicians that we need action to tackle climate collapse now”.
A spokesman for the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero said: “While we respect the right to protest, the transition to non-fossil forms of energy cannot happen overnight and even when we are net zero, we still need some oil and gas.”
They added that the government has attracted around £120bn of renewable energy investment since 2010 and that the UK has decarbonised faster than any other G7 country.
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