Greenpeace demonstrators began climbing London’s 87-story Shard building at 4 a.m this morning to protest against Shell’s Arctic oil drilling. Six women began the ascent in darkness from the roof of a nearby subway station while safety personnel and police stand by.
Because part of The Shard is built like a ladder, the women are “free-climbing” more than 1,000 feet into the air, according to the BBC.
"It's going to be really hard work, it's going to be nerve-shredding for all of us and we may not succeed, but we're going to do everything we can to pull it off,” said 32-year-old Canadian climber Victoria Henry. "Millions of people have called on Shell to get out of the Arctic but they're still trying to drill there anyway.”
The group is live-streaming the climb via cameras on their helmets. The video has more than 10,000 views.
"If we reach the top, we'll be able to see all three of Shell's London offices below us, meaning they'll be able to see us," Henry said. "Maybe then they'll stop ignoring the movement ranged against them.”
The building is modeled after a shard of ice. If they get to the top, the woman plan to install a piece of art there.
Viewing platforms on the building were closed today.
"We apologize to guests for the inconvenience caused and 'The View' will be pleased to honor their tickets either later on today or on a different date," said a Shard spokesman.
A statement from Shell said that Arctic drilling is “not new.”
"The Arctic region currently produces about 10 percent of the world's oil and 25 percent of its gas,” Shell said. "Shell has been operating in the Arctic and sub-Arctic since the early 20th century, giving us the technical experience and know-how to explore for and produce oil and gas responsibly."
In response to demonstrators, Shell said: "We respect the right of individuals and organizations to engage in a free and frank exchange of views about our operations.”