Ascent on the Shard: pictures from Greenpeace's audacious bid to raise awareness of Arctic oil drilling

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After 15 hours of arduous climbing on the sheer face of Western Europe’s tallest building, six women climbers from Greenpeace reached the top of the Shard at 07.08pm on Thursday night (11.07.13). The climbers were cheered by crowds gathered at the foot of the skyscraper and watched by tens of thousands through a live stream on the Greenpeace website.

Having reached the 310 metre peak, two of the activists waved a 32-square-foot flag with the demand “Save the Arctic” written across it.

The audacious climb is part of a year-long campaign Greenpeace has been waging against Shell and the other companies who are drilling in the Arctic or intend to do so. After badly botching its attempt to extract oil off the coast of Alaska, Shell has now joined forces with would-be Arctic driller Gazprom, a Russian oil giant with appalling safety and environmental records.

“It is an honour to stand here at the foot of Europe’s highest building and witness this remarkable achievement by these women – watching them fly the flag to protect the Arctic from the top of the Shard is a remarkable sight,” said John Sauven, Executive Director of Greenpeace UK. “And I’m not the only one watching this today – the executives of Shell, whose offices are all around this building, simply won’t be able to ignore what we have done. As a result of our action, fifty thousand extra people have joined up to the campaign.

“If Shell continues to ignore the huge groundswell of support for protecting the Arctic then they will do irreversible damage to their reputation.”

The latest news on Friday morning is that the six women are in police custody, having been arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass.

All pictures are by David Sandison/Greenpeace

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