Protesters create Arctic crime scene at international shipping summit

International Maritime Organization (IMO) challenged over Arctic pollution and climate emissions as delegates gather in London

Environmental campaigners from Extinction Rebellion, Ecohustler and other groups today called for urgent action to cut pollution in the Arctic from the global shipping industry. The International Maritime Organization’s week long Pollution Prevention & Response sub-committee (PPR7) meeting opened this morning at Albert Embankment, London.

As delegates, representing governments from around the world and the shipping industry, arrived for the meeting, they came face to face with activists urging them to act now to protect the fragile arctic marine environment. The activists created a dynamic "Arctic crime scene" outside the iconic IMO building.

Delegates arriving for the conference came face to face with a theatrical representation of the impacts of shipping in the Arctic and were handed crime scene notices. Banners read - Dirty ship fuels are climate crimes


IMO: Protect the Arctic, Ban dirty fuels.

Performers created an Arctic climate crime scene with white chalk outlines of Arctic animals, attended by black-clad funeral mourners. A smoking cargo ship art installation was trailed by thick black “oil”. A stranded polar bear, its habitat threatened by climate change, perched upon a melting iceberg sculpture, whilst a 10 metre-long banner deployed along the wall of the Thames read “Dirty ship fuels destroy the Arctic”.

Matt Mellen, an Ecohustler activist from Somerset, said:

“It’s crazy that these dirty, dangerous fuels are allowed anywhere. But to use them somewhere as fragile and precious as the Arctic beggars belief. The Arctic is changing faster than anywhere due to climate change - and what happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic. If world governments are serious about protecting this fragile environment, it can bring about a ban during this week’s meeting”

Roc Sandford, from Extinction Rebellion, said:

“Climate Change is already causing fires and floods around the world. This is an emergency, there are no good excuses for not acting now. We’re protesting here to make sure the delegates at this summit see what is at stake. We urge them to act to cut emissions and protect the environment.”