Greenpeace activists from Argentina, Turkey, the US and the UK have boarded a Shell contracted vessel in the Atlantic Ocean with a banner bearing the message: “Stop Drilling. Start Paying”.
Just two days ahead of Shell’s profits announcement, four Greenpeace International activists boarded the White Marlin vessel at sea north of the Canary Islands in a peaceful protest against the climate devastation around the world caused by Shell and the wider fossil fuel industry, without paying a penny towards loss and damage.
On January 31, the protesters approached the 51,000-tonne heavy-lift vessel in three boats launched from Greenpeace’s Arctic Sunrise ship and used ropes to climb onto the deck.
The four activists: Carlos Marcelo Bariggi Amara, from Argentina; Yakup Çetinkaya, from Turkey; Imogen Michel from the UK and Usnea Granger from the US are now occupying the ship’s cargo, a Shell oil and gas platform. Two other activists, Yeb Saño from the Philippines, and Waya Pesik Maweru from Indonesia attempted to join them but did not manage to board.
The platform is a key piece of production equipment that will enable Shell to unlock eight new wells in the Penguins North Sea oil and gas field. The protestors are carrying enough supplies to occupy the platform for days.
Saño, who is executive director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia in his day job, and has previously acted as lead negotiator for the Philippines at global climate talks, signed up as a volunteer with Greenpeace International for the nonviolent direct action and is now on board the Arctic Sunrise.
He said: “Shell must stop drilling and start paying. We’re taking action today 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.
“Shell and the wider fossil fuel industry are bringing the climate crisis into our homes, our families, our landscapes and oceans.
“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.
“They must take accountability for decades of profiting from climate injustice, and pay for the loss and damage they’ve caused. We need a just transition towards cheap, clean, renewable energy in a way that benefits communities, workers and the climate.”
The White Marlin is carrying a floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) unit for a redevelopment project as Shell seeks to squeeze every last drop of oil from the Penguins field. The production platform is the first new manned vessel for Shell in the northern North Sea for 30 years. At peak production the project is expected to yield the equivalent of 45,000 barrels of oil per day, and Shell has suggested it could open up further areas for exploration.
The protest comes just a few weeks after Wael Sawan took over as Shell’s new chief executive.
This week Shell will likely face further pressure as it announces its full-year profits on Thursday, February 2. The company has already made eye-watering profits off the back of inflated energy prices, driven up by Putin’s war in Ukraine.
Photo credit: © Chris J Ratcliffe / Greenpeace. Greenpeace climate justice activists approaching Shell platform en route to major oilfield with message: ‘STOP DRILLING. START PAYING.’