Voluntary Sector: Taking action ... Greenpeace vs Cairn Energy and the oil industry

Protesters: Greenpeace
Target: Cairn Energy
Location: Off the coast of Greenland
Date: From 23 August


The Greenpeace protest ship Esperanza sailed from the UK to the coast of Greenland to challenge the oil industry at the site of Cairn Energy's new deepwater drilling project. Head of media Ben Stewart was on board. The protesters were confronted by a Danish warship that was protecting two drilling sites owned by Cairn. The environmental group was warned that the ship would be raided and the captain arrested if they breached a 500m security cordon.

- Why the protests?

In the wake of the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, Greenpeace campaigners say Cairn should abandon the 'risky' drilling project and consider investing in clean alternatives. Stewart said: 'It seems crazy to us that the Arctic sea ice is melting, and the oil industry response is to start drilling here, rather than take melting sea ice as a warning about the huge risk from global warming.'

- How did Cairn Energy respond?

No response has been given to the media by Cairn.

- How did the media cover it?

The story was covered widely by the national media over the course of the standoff between the Esperanza and the Danish warship. There was further coverage when it was reported that BP will not bid for an oil exploration licence in Greenland.

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