Meet the six brave women who scaled Europe's tallest building to save the Arctic

Today, six brave activists from Greenpeace climbed to the top of the tallest building in Western Europe, the Shard in London, UK. The daring stunt was made in an effort to protest Shell's plans to drill for oil in the Arctic.

The six climbers were Ali Garrigan from the UK, Sabine Huyghe from Holland, Sandra Lamborn from Sweden, Lisbeth Deddens from Belgium, Victoria Henry from Canada and Wiola Smul from Poland.

You can read the full story here.

Meet the climbers, from the left: Sabine, Sandra, Victo, Ali, Wiola & Liesbeth.

The six activists started their journey up the 72-story building by climbing on to the roof of the neighboring London Bridge station early in the morning. Greenpeace says the Shard was chosen because it’s located in the middle of Shell’s three corporate headquarters.

This photo shows how everyone involved in the action trained the day before the daring stunt. They arrived to the Shard in a van and climbed up to the London Bridge station using a ladder through a hatch on the roof of the van.

Sabine Huyghe and Victoria Henry can be seen here climbing up the side of the Shard.

“We'll try to hang a huge art installation 310m up. We may not succeed, but we’re going to do everything we can to pull it off,” Henry said. “Millions of people have called on Shell to get out of the Arctic but they're still trying to drill there anyway. 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. Maybe then they'll stop ignoring the movement ranged against them.”

Ali Garrigan has been climbing since age 18 & hopes the action can bring attention to the dangers facing the Arctic.

People could follow and watch the six climbers while they climbed to the top of the Shard, situated 310 meters above ground. The live-feed was managed from the Greenpeace UK headquarter.

The climbers used Iphones to stream live from their journey to the top of the Shard where they planned to unveil “a huge work of art that captures the beauty of the Arctic.”

Lisbeth Deddens began climbing in high school. She has now climbed ice, rock, alpine, and the Shard.

The media seemed to love the stunt and the Save the Arctic campaign got some much needed attention.

Wiola Smul hopes that today’s action helps to change the way companies exploit vulnerable regions like the Arctic.

Sabine Huyghe was inspired to train as a climber after helping other Greenpeace activists get ready in Belgium.

Sandra Lamborn who has just finished an MA in environmental science was the lead climber during the action. “We do this to draw attention to the untenable situation in the Arctic, where the ice has melted by more than 80% since the 1950s. As the ice disappears, opportunities for development in the area previously been virtually inaccessible to humans,” Lamborn said.

“This is a threat not only for the Arctic ecosystem and the animals that lives there, but actually for the planet and thus the future of humanity. The oil industry, with giant Shell in the lead, wants to drill for oil in the Arctic icy water, a place where the conditions are extremely unpredictable. Any oil spill would be devastating to the sensitive Arctic ecosystem and almost impossible to clean up. Extraction and consumption of Arctic oil leads to climate change, which in turn disrupts the planet's delicate balance ending in disasters, the extent of which we have only seen the beginning of.”

The climbers reached the top of the Shard late on Thursday evening. All safe and sound, but exhausted from their free climb up the tallest building in Western Europe. All six climbers will be spending the night in police custody.


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Guest daryan

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As a climber myself I'm suitably impressed. With the overtly sexists comments from the usual right wing suspects with respect to this protest (see Elle Mae' Hagan's article in the Guardian for more on that) I am certainly not. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jul/12/shard-protesters-macho-activism-greenpeace

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