Greenpeace ends North Sea protest against BP after 12 days

Environmental group Greenpeace has ended its protest in Scotland targeting BP-chartered drilling rig for its UK North Sea drilling operations after twelve days. 

©Greenpeace / Jiri Rezac

Twelve days, three rig occupations and subsequent arrests of eleven activists, and three rig U-turns later, Greenpeace has decided to bring its protest against BP’s drilling plans for the Vorlich field in the UK North Sea to a close with a series of protests targeting the company in Europe and the U.S.

In a statement on Thursday, Greenpeace said that its activists had served a ‘People’s Climate Injunctions’ to BP Headquarters in London and Aberdeen calling on BP and the industry to “immediately end the search for new fossil fuels and start a rapid and just transition to become 100% renewable energy companies”.

At the same time the Greenpeace ship the Arctic Sunrise read the injunction directly to the BP-chartered rig over radio.

In Germany, activists protested outside BP’s European headquarters displaying a banner reading “BP Destroys The Climate”. The activists also presented the company with a copy of the injunction. In the U.S., Austria and all over the UK, activists picketed BP petrol stations. The U.S. activists displayed a banner with the message “Climate Emergency”.

The coordinated protests bring to an end 12 days in which Greenpeace thwarted BP’s attempts to use the Transocean-owned Paul B. Loyd, Jr. rig in the North Sea. A series of legal injunctions were brought against Greenpeace, the climbers, and the Arctic Sunrise by BP and its rig contractor Transocean in an attempt to end the protest.

Despite this, three sets of Greenpeace UK climbers prevented BP’s rig from leaving the Cromarty Firth in Scotland for a period of five days. This was followed by a further stand off in the North Sea between the rig and the Greenpeace International ship, the Arctic Sunrise, which prevented the rig from reaching the drill site, including through a Greenpeace International swimmer blocking the rigs path.

Greenpeace is demanding that BP immediately end drilling new wells and switch to only investing in renewable energy. If BP does not do that, Greenpeace says, it should wind down its operations, return cash to investors and go out of business.

Greenpeace hands in ‘People’s Climate Injunctions’ to BP in London HQ © Greenpeace

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