London, 11 July 2013 - After 15 hours of arduous climbing on the sheer face of Western Europe’s tallest building, six women climbers from Greenpeace finally reached the top of the Shard at 07.08pm today. 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 team of climbers began their ascent at just after 4.00am this morning after eluding security guards at the base of the building and throughout the day they have made steady progress in their quest to reach the Shard's peak.
Today's audacious campaign event 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.
Commenting on today's campaign John Sauven Executive Director of Greenpeace UK said:
"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. 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."
Having waved their flag to London the climbers made an assessment on the final aspect of today's event – the installing of a major art work. But the installation was due to take four hours, potentially taking the protest into darkness. As a result they will now come down, secure in the knowledge they have inspired people across the world.
For more contact Niall Sookoo at the Greenpeace press office on +44 207 865 8255 or +44 771115688
Photo and video available
Photo – +44 20 7865 8118
Video – +44 20 7865 8255
Media briefing on the climb, the climbers and the threat posed to the Arctic by the oil companies available here