After bold action to stop Arctic drilling, the climbers have been forced by bad weather to end their protest onboard the world’s second largest oil rig, the Leiv Eiriksson.

Early this morning, activists intercepted the Cairn Energy operated 53,000 tonne rig while it was on dangerous mission to drill for oil in the Arctic. The brave climbers then scaled the rig and unfurled a banner demanding : “Stop Arctic destruction.”

Having briefly halted the rigs progress, the climbers were prepared for a long occupation but a Force 7 gale forced an end to the protest early this evening while the rig was navigating the Dardanelles straits – a stretch of water that links the Sea of Marmara to the Aegean Sea. The rig is making its as its way towards the High North, and Greenland’s Baffin Bay.

“Cairn Energy would have liked nothing better than for this monster oil rig, the Leiv Eiriksson, to begin to drill in the arctic unhindered and unnoticed. Our climbers were trying to protect one of the world’s most precious natural environments from dangerous oil drilling. This rig can and must be stopped, before it is too late. There will be no cleaning up a Deepwater Horizon type spill in the Arctic,” said Greenpeace campaigner Ben Ayliffe.

We have a choice. We can go beyond oil. Instead of investing trillions in dirty oil and environmental destruction we can invest it in ramping up the efficiency of vehicles, and rolling out new clean energy technologies.