I’m writing this from the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise, somewhere in the North Sea…

A few days ago I completely unexpectedly found myself on an all-nighter from London to Scotland. It’s a long story but really, I was only going up there to walk my dog! While crawling around gorse bushes 19 hours later with binoculars (and said dog) and so wet that I could barely get my phone out of my pocket, I got a phone call.

Portrait of Sarah North

On the bridge of the Arctic Sunrise, somewhere in the North Sea

And now, five days later I’m in some kind of groundhog day following a BP oil rig and its entourage backwards and forwards, backwards and forwards, from shore to the rig site out in the North Sea. Since we first occupied the BP oil rig in Scotland’s Cromarty Firth, it’s done a complete u-turn three times.

Through all the sleeplessness and adrenaline out here, all we know is that this is day ten of us stopping BP from drilling using its only new rig going out this year. We’re stopping them from dredging up another 30 million barrels of oil to fuel this climate crisis. We are throwing everything, EVERYTHING at this; to stand between BP and the production of more fossil fuels than our climate can take.

I am so proud of all the activists and land crew that have spent the last ten days stepping up and taking on this company. Finally, I feel like I’m doing what we all need to be doing in a climate emergency. How unexpected. How good. Maybe this will all be over in the next few hours and we will be making our slightly sad way back into port. Or maybe, just maybe, this will be the last nudge BP needs to change its ways and stop all their oil drilling plans.

Greenpeace Climbers on BP Oil Rig Scotland © Greenpeace

Greenpeace climbers on BP oil rig in Cromarty Firth, Scotland.

Everything sounds impossible until it’s done.

Rise up.


Sarah North is an oil campaigner on board the Greenpeace Ship Arctic Sunrise


Note: an earlier version of this post stated this is BP’s only UK oil project in 2019. It has been corrected to say it is BP’s only new rig going out this year.