Greenpeace Activists Climb Britain’s Tallest Building To Protest Arctic Drilling

Elaine Radford - Author

Dec. 25 2017, Updated 4:53 p.m. ET

Greenpeace activists are climbing to the very top of the Shard building in London on Thursday to protest drilling in the Arctic. The building was chosen not just because it is Britain’s tallest skyscraper but also because it is owned by Shell Oil.

The six member Greenpeace U.K. team is all women. When asked why, they simply said, “Why not?”

As the Greenpeace activists climbed, they have tweeted messages and photographs, in addition to providing views from their head-mounted cameras. If you’re prone to fear of heights or nausea at all, some of this footage might not be right for you.

However, if you want to watch the final ascent, then go to the Greenpeace #iceclimb site where you can see live streaming of the ascent. (UPDATE: All six women now have safely reached the top.)

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At the time of writing, the climb had started at around 4 AM local time and was still ongoing. It is not an authorized climb, and the women assume they will be arrested for the stunt when it’s over.

You have to love that British sense of humor. The British Mountaineering Council has recognized the climb. Noting that the ascent was developed in 2013 by one team, their online guide includes this advice:

“A photogenic and very public crag. Offers an adventurous and arresting challenge for climbers who can manage the delicate approach.

“Approach at night, wearing dark clothes and in an unmarked van. The intitial tricky pitch to the roof of London Road station gains an spacious belay ledge. Initial care must be taken to avoid disturbing any nearby policemen.

“However, once on the 72-storey route, climbers can relax and live webcast, tweet and unfurl banners…”

Here are just a few of the great many tweets by Greenpeace U.K. and supporters of the climb:

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Here’s video from near the start of the ascent:

Whatever you think of their message, you have to admire the courage of the six Greenpeace activists who climbed that skyscraper.


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