Chris J Ratcliffe / Greenpeace
- Greenpeace activists used ropes to climb aboard a ship carrying a Shell oil platform.
- Four activists have been aboard the vessel in a protest against climate devastation for five days.
- This week, Shell announced a record $39.9 billion in profits made last year.
Four environmental activists remain firmly planted on an oil platform belonging to Shell in the Atlantic Ocean after dramatic footage showed the protesters scaling earlier this week aboard.
The video, released by Greenpeace on Tuesday, shows a tense moment where an activist is swinging from a rope above the ocean over the sound of gusts of wind and waves crashing. In the recording, someone is heard saying, “totally ok,” as they ascended the White Marlin, a ship carrying Shell’s oil and gas platform.
—Greenpeace USA (@greenpeaceusa) February 2, 2023
The 400-foot platform is a “critical piece of equipment” for Shell that will enable the company to unlock eight new wells in the Penguins oil and gas field located in the North Sea by the Shetland Islands, according to the international environmental organization.
On board, the four activists — Carlos Marcelo Bariggi Amara from Argentina; Yakup Çetinkaya from Turkey; Imogen Michel from the UK, and Usnea Granger from the US — displayed a banner that read “Stop Drilling. Start Paying” in a peaceful protest “against the climate devastation around the world caused by Shell and the wider fossil fuel industry.”
The four tracked the White Marlin as it sailed north of the Canary Islands aboard Greenpeace’s Arctic Sunrise ship. They were accompanied by two other activists who were not able to clamber onto the ship.
Yeb Saño, the executive director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia, failed to onboard but remains on the Arctic Sunrise — which is following the White Marlin. Saño explained they were taking action because “when Shell extracts fossil fuels, it causes a ripple of death, destruction, and displacement around the world, having the worst impact on people who are least to blame for the climate crisis.”
“So we will take them on at sea, at shareholder meetings, in the courtroom, online, and at their headquarters. We won’t stop until we get climate justice. We will make polluters pay,” he added.
As of Friday, the protestors were still on top of the platform and had “enough supplies of food, water, and all-weather equipment to keep them going for days,” a Greenpeace spokesperson told Insider in an email.
Climate activists on the Shell oil platform.
The protest coincides with the energy giant announcing its highest-ever earnings on Thursday, with a reported profit of $39.9 billion in 2022, more than double the company’s profits a year earlier. The profits come after a skyrocketing price of natural gas after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
A spokesperson from Shell said, “the new floating vessel will allow production from the Penguins field to continue to provide the necessary energy that the UK needs,” the spokesperson said in an email to Insider.
Projects like the Penguins oil field are “entirely consistent with a net zero pathway as modeled by the UK’s independent Climate Change Committee,” they added.
The company said the protest was a safety concern, given the “number of people boarding a moving vessel in rough conditions.”
The activists, however, are experienced climbers who have “undergone thorough training to take part in this action,” a Greenpeace spokesperson said, adding they take safety “very seriously.”
Research from the International Energy Agency said there should be “no investment in new fossil fuel supply projects” for a net-zero energy solution to be reached by 2050.