Greenpeace Sweden environmental activists were arrested at a Royal Dutch Shell oil refinery, Aug. 29, as they unfurled banners protesting Arctic oil and gas exploration. The Hague-based Shell is heavily invested in Arctic oil exploration projects underway in the North Sea as well as in the Chuckchi and Beaufort seas of the U.S. Arctic, off Alaska's northwest coast.
Danish activists clad in polar bear costumes climbed atop a Shell oil silo at the Frederica refinery in western Denmark. Such activism has been a hallmark of the group's campaign to raise awareness about Arctic industrialization.
“We’ve succeeded in highlighting the true face of Shell. Oil drilling in the Arctic is just insane,” said Swedish activist Sandra Lamborn. “If there’s a major spill up there there’s no way to clean up the oil, and for the sake of the climate we must leave Arctic oil where it is.”
Lamborn was one of six climbers who scaled the 310-metre-tall Shard building in London in July, as part of Greenpeace's ongoing campaign. Earlier this week a Greenpeace ship, the Artic Sunrise, was boarded by Russian coastguards as it tried to block oil prospecting ships in Russian Arctic waters.
Responding to the latest protest action, Shell Denmark issued a statement saying that “Greenpeace has naturally the right to express their disagreement with Shell, but that should happen within the framework of the law."
This story is posted on Alaska Dispatch as part of Eye on the Arctic, a collaborative partnership between public and private circumpolar media organizations.