Rypefjord, Norway – Four peaceful activists from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Germany have climbed the oil rig West Hercules, located near Rypefjord village in the north of Norway to protest against drilling for oil in the Arctic. While a growing movement calling for real action on climate change is happening all over the world, Equinor’s rig is preparing for a season of oil drilling in the Arctic waters of the Barents Sea.
The drilling is licensed by the Norwegian government but under scrutiny from a constitutional lawsuit to end Arctic oil drilling in Norway.
Greenpeace activist Karianne Andersen said:
“Desperate times call for desperate measures. That’s why I’m here, doing whatever I can to tell the Norwegian government that if we want to keep our planet livable for the generations to come, we need to phase out the oil industry.”
“Drilling for oil in the Arctic while the region melts faster than ever is complete madness. We face a climate emergency and need to stop oil drilling, and that’s why we are peacefully protesting today,” added Greenpeace Norway head, Frode Pleym.
Greenpeace Norway’s protest on the oil rig comes mere weeks after tens of thousands of young people across the country took part in school strikes to call for climate action. A key demand of the striking youth is an end to new oil and gas exploration in Norway. A recent study also proved that, for the first time, a majority of Norwegians under the age of 24 are in favour of leaving oil in the ground because of the climate crisis.
“Young people in Norway are asking for an end to oil. Now it’s high time for the government to listen and follow through,” said Haldis Helle, vice chair of the Norwegian youth NGO Nature and Youth and taking part in the protest.
Oil is Norway’s biggest export, and it is burned all over the world. This makes Norway the 7th biggest exporter of climate-wrecking emissions on the planet.
“Oil is one of the biggest threats to the climate and the Paris Agreement, which Norway has signed to help keep global temperatures below 1.5 and avoid climate catastrophe. Norway needs to be a frontrunner when it comes to stopping the search for new oil, and this is not the way to do it. The emissions coming from Norwegian oil are Norway’s responsibility, and we as a country are not honouring that,” concluded Pleym.
Photos for press use can be found here
Follow the oil rig West Hercules on Marine Traffic here
 The drilling that is about to happen is part of the 23rd licensing round. Together with Nature and Youth, Greenpeace has sued the Norwegian state for opening up these licenses, and we believe it is in breach with the Norwegian Constitution, § 112, which defines the state’s obligation to secure future generations a sustainable environment. By looking for oil this far north, the state does not secure this right.
Runa Roed – communication officer in Norway, [email protected], +47 472 86 663
Greenpeace International Press Desk, [email protected], phone: +31 (0) 20 718 2470 (available 24 hours)
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