(C) Greenpeace / Matti Snellman

In an effort to prevent destructive oil drilling in the Arctic, dozens of Greenpeace Nordic activists have boarded and occupied a Shell-contracted icebreaker in Helsinki harbour as it prepared to leave for the Alaskan Arctic. At 10:30 in Helsinki, Finland, 20 activists from 13 different countries boarded the Nordica and have locked themselves down throughout the ship, from the cabins to the top of the mast.

We are calling on the oil giant Shell to abandon its controversial plans to open up the fragile Arctic for oil drilling. You can show your support by writing to Shell now.

"We are here on behalf of the nearly 400,000 people around the world who in just a couple of months have spoken out demanding that Shell cancel its reckless campaign of Arctic destruction," said Greenpeace campaign manager in Finland Tapio Laakso. "Oil companies know full well that an oil spill off the Alaskan coast would devastate the environment and prove impossible to clean up."

For the first time in our history we are faced with the possibility of a world without ice at the North Pole, without a home for polar bears, narwhals and walrus. It is fundamentally wrong that Shell is making money drilling for more of the oil that has caused this melting in the first place.


The Nordica is one of two Shell-contracted icebreakers owned by the Finnish government. It is heading to Alaska to join its sister ship, the Fennica, to support the Kulluk and Noble Discoverer, the two drilling vessels en route to the north coast of Alaska to drill five exploratory wells for Shell in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas later this summer.

Shell is the first major international oil company to make exploitation of the Arctic a serious corporate focus. If it strikes oil this summer, other global oil giants will quickly follow and spark a dangerous Arctic oil rush.

Photo: (C) Greenpeace / Matti Snellman