CLIMATE change protesters disrupted the stage at oil giant Shell’s annual shareholder meeting in London.

In a tense moment during the meeting, which had already been delayed for nearly an hour, security stepped in to prevent a protester from reaching chairman Sir Andrew Mackenzie and other board members on the stage.

Dozens of protesters were escorted out by members of the security team at London’s Excel conference centre.

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“Obviously that last incident went a stage further than we experienced in the first part of today,” Mackenzie said, after protesters had been escorted out.

He added that people would be removed if they tried to get onto the stage again.

Early in the meeting, a group of protesters sang, “Go to hell Shell and don’t you come back no more, no more, no more, no more,” to the tune of the Ray Charles song Hit the Road Jack.

The first protester to get up shouted: “Welcome to Shell… complicit in the destruction of people’s homes, livelihoods and lives. Welcome to hell.”

He added: “I refuse to accept your hell on earth. Board members, directors and shareholders, I’m here to demand that you shut down Shell.”

He also said: “The sea levels are rising, and so are the people.”

One woman appeared to faint as she was escorted out by security. Another screamed that the three men carrying her out of the room were hurting her.

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Meanwhile, other shareholders grew increasingly frustrated, shouting: “Shut up” and “get a job”.

It happened around 50 minutes into Shell’s annual general meeting (AGM) on Tuesday morning. Protesters had consistently got up to chant songs and slogans against the major producer of oil and gas.

“Shut down Shell,” protesters repeatedly chanted on Tuesday, interrupting Mackenzie and other board members as they were speaking to other shareholders in the room.

Security repeatedly escorted protesters out one at a time, however, one protester was replaced by another.

In the confusion, Mackenzie also mistakenly asked security to remove a non-protesting shareholder who had got up to ask for the meeting to push ahead.

“Are you asking us to start the meeting? I apologise,” he said, to laughter from the room.

The proceedings appeared to finally start after a little over an hour. A protester was escorted out after 72 minutes, after which Mackenzie was able to start his speech.

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Following disruption at its annual general meeting, a spokesperson for oil giant Shell said: “We respect people’s right to express their point of view and welcome any constructive engagement on our strategy and the energy transition.

“However, yet again protestors have shown that they are not interested in constructive engagement.

“We agree that society needs to take action on climate change.

“Shell has a clear target to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050 and we believe our climate targets are aligned with the more ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement on climate change: to limit the increase in the global average temperature to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.”