Credit: Zoe Broughton

Breaking News: In the UK right now, Greenpeace activists are shutting down Shell gas stations, in order to tell the company to stop drilling in the Arctic.

As we stand 40 stations are currently shut down across the two main target cities: London and Edinburgh.

In both capitals, Greenpeace plans to shut down every Shell petrol station. In total the target is to close 100 forecourts today, including the one pictured at Battersea in London.

The environmental group is also broadcasting live throughout the day on a special online TV channel.

Greenpeace’s Sara Ayech said: “The oil giant Shell is preparing, for the first time, to unleash a drilling fleet of huge vessels upon the fragile and beautiful Arctic, home of the polar bears. It’s time to draw a line in the ice and tell Shell to stop. That’s why today we’re going to shut down all of Shell’s petrol stations in the capital cities of London and Edinburgh. ”

Sara continued: “An oil spill in the Arctic would be catastrophic for wildlife such as walruses and whales, and Shell knows full well that it would be impossible to clean up after such devastation. The Arctic must be saved, and made a global sanctuary where oil drilling is banned.”

The action is part of the global week of action against Shell that kicked off with the occupation of the head office in the Hague. Last Friday, over a dozen activists were detained after Greenpeace blocked access to Shell headquarters in the Dutch city.

“We showed up in a group of 70 around 7 o’clock this morning and we blocked all entrances to stop employees from getting to their offices and continuing work on the Arctic drilling,” Greenpeace spokeswoman Ilse van der Poel said.

Greenpeace hung a “Stop Shell, Save The Arctic” banner across the building and tried to replace the Shell logo with a polar bear.

Greenpeace is also targeting Shell’s own loyalty card, by offering an alternative “Disloyalty Card”.

The protests come as it has emerged that back in the US Shell has asked the Environmental Protection Agency for a last-minute revision to its air emissions permits.

The oil giant concedes that it has not been able to meet all the rigorous standards required for the main generator on its Arctic drilling rig.

In response, Emilie Surrusco of the Alaska Wilderness League said: “So the question becomes, why are you bringing this up now, when you’re supposed to start drilling in a matter of days? And what is EPA supposed to do about it?”

The answer is simple: stop the drilling.

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