Greenpeace activists target Arctic rigs

Greenpeace activists have staged a protest against drilling in the Arctic by hanging off an oil rig on the coast of Greenland. Two campaigners hung from the underside of the […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Greenpeace activists have staged a protest against drilling in the Arctic by hanging off an oil rig on the coast of Greenland.

Two campaigners hung from the underside of the 53,000 tonne Leiv Eiriksson oil rig, owned by Cairn Energy, in a survival pod.

Cairn Energy is now bringing an injunction against Greenpeace to stop any future action they may take on the oil rig, which could land the campaigners with a €2million fine per day if the Dutch courts approve it.

A statement from the oil company declared that it was acting to protect both its workers and the protestors: “Cairn respects the rights of individuals and organisations to express their views in a safe and peaceful manner but cannot allow any action that poses a potential threat to the safety of our employees or the protesters involved.

John Sauven, Executive Director of Greenpeace UK said they would challenge Cairn Energy “every step of way”: “It can hire all the lawyers it likes, but it can’t hide the huge risks it’s taking with this beautiful and fragile environment.

“Cairn is threatening us with a huge legal hammer now, it wants to shut down our campaign to kick the oil companies out of the Arctic, but we’ll challenge them and their lawyers every step of way. The stakes are high here, the Arctic is in the front line of climate change. We won’t stop shining a light on this dangerous deep water drilling operation in the Arctic.”

Cairn Energy countered that they had been invited by Greenland’s government to drill and were upholding Greenland’s “stringent” operating standards.