Four Greenpeace protesters, who scaled an oil rig off the coast of Greenland and stopped it drilling for 40 hours, have been deported back to their home countries. The activists, who were arrested on September 2, forced Edinburgh-based oil company Cairn Energy to cease all operations for two days.
However, freezing weather conditions required the climbers to end their occupation of the drilling rig and they were arrested and flown to Aasiaat in Greenland. Now the activists have been taken to the airport by the country’s police and put on flights back to their homelands of the USA, Poland and Germany.
The four men have been charged with trespassing after breaching the 500-metre exclusion zone around the rig. They were fined DKK 20,000 (USD 3,439) and had their climbing equipment confiscated.
Nordic climate change campaigner Jon Burgwald spoke to British newspaper the Scotsman from the Greenpeace ship, Esperanza, which is currently touring oil rigs to protest against deepwater drilling.
“Our climbers spent two days hanging from Cairn’s Stena Don drilling rig, just metres above the frigid Arctic waters in freezing conditions, but every minute they were up there was another minute Cairn Energy couldn’t drill. We want to stop them sparking an Arctic oil rush,” he said.
The Esperanza will now continue its ‘Go Beyond Oil’ tour but has reportedly left Greenland’s waters.
Greenpeace is backing a call by Germany to impose a moratorium on deepwater drilling in the North Sea. Environmental ministers from bordering countries will meet in Norway to discuss the matter next month.