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article imageClimate activists block Shell headquarters with ice pyramid

By Anne Sewell     Sep 13, 2012 in Environment
London - Activists from Climate Justice Collective built an icy pyramid at Shell's London headquarters on Tuesday, in protest over Arctic oil drilling.
There have been several protests about the drilling for oil in the Arctic over the last few months, so far, with no effect.
Shell's exploratory oil expedition off the Alaskan coast started this week, but was halted on Monday when sea ice was seen to be drifting towards the drilling vessel.
Fifteen activists from Climate Justice Collective decided to try and do something about the situation on Tuesday, by blockading the entrance to Shell's London headquarters with a pyramid of ice blocks.
Each block weighed 27kgs, and the group transported them in a rented refrigerated van to the headquarters in London's Southbank, then piled them up in front of the door.
In the video, an activist says, "We came to make a point that Shell is profiting from receding of the ice due to climate change, to exploit for more oil."
Another says, "They have begun drilling in an area of the Arctic that used to be covered in ice until very recently. So they are, if you like, taking complete advantage of the situation but they are also causing the situation. Instead of being asked to stop drilling and being held to account, they're continuing to make profit."
One of the activists, Lucy, told the Guardian, "Something needs to be done right now. Shell petroleum are responsible for drilling in the Arctic sea. They are drilling in a new area. This must stop, Shell must be held to account. This is an unprecedented disaster we are trying to minimize."
This week, scientists are expected to announce a record low for the Arctic sea ice minimum, after unprecedented melting rates this summer.
"People from different backgrounds have got together. Sea ice is melting and Shell is partly responsible for that," said another activist.
A statement from a Shell spokesman reads, "Shell recognizes that certain organizations are opposed to our Arctic exploration program and respect the right of individuals and organizations to engage in a free and frank exchange of views about our operations. We only ask that they do so with their safety and the safety of others, including Shell personnel and customers in mind."
"Shell has support from a multitude of stakeholders for our plans to execute a safe and environmentally responsible drilling program in Alaska's Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. Shell's distinguished offshore record in Alaska, including our prior drilling activities, validates that we are well positioned to work in the Arctic," they added.
More about Shell, Arctic, Alaska, Drilling, Ice melt
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