Activists 'brick up' Shell HQ as Arctic melt

Activists 'brick up' Shell HQ as Arctic melts from Small Axe Films on Vimeo.

Early morning on the 11th September 12 a group of 20 climate change activists calling themselves ‘Ice Bloc’ unloaded nearly two tonnes of ice into the main entrance of Shell HQ. The protest was timed to coincide with this week's impending announcement of the lowest sea-ice coverage ever recorded, a loss of about 50% more ice coverage than the summer ice minimum 30 years ago.

The activists are angry that Shell are set to profit from this environmental catastrophe.The company has this week begun to drill for oil in newly exposed areas once covered by ice. The protest happens as news reports that Shell are already having to delay operations due to floating sea ice near their drill-site [1].

The group are seeking to bring the collapse of the Arctic ice sheet to the door of Shell because they hold the company partly responsible for the carbon emissions that caused climate change, leading to the melt.

The activists piled the 27kg blocks of ice high in the entrance way, which looks on to the South Bank, creating a huge wall of ice to greet Shell executives as they arrived at work.

Rachel Griffin, involved in today’s action, said:

“Right now the Arctic sea ice, a part of the planet essential for our survival, is vanishing because companies like Shell have filled the atmosphere with climate-changing gases.

“Yet rather than being stopped from trading and held to account, the company have begun drilling in Alaska, an area of the Arctic once covered with ice. That they are already having problems there just shows how ludicrous the plan is.

“The political response has been pitiful. People need to take action now to minimise this unprecedented disaster.”

The activists are part of a bigger network, Climate Justice Collective, which grew from the Climate Camp