Court grants temporary ban on Greenpeace protest against Shell pollution – Response

Amsterdam – A Scottish Court has granted Shell’s request for a temporary ban on future protests by Greenpeace International and Greenpeace Netherlands near or on Shell’s oil platforms in the Brent oil field. Greenpeace protested there in October against Shell’s plans to leave parts of four old oil platforms in the North Sea. The storage tanks of three of the platforms contain more than 11,000 tonnes of oil, which will eventually end up in the sea.[1] 

On Thursday 28 November Greenpeace International and Greenpeace Nederland were in the Scottish court to defend the right to safe and peaceful protest.

Meike Rijksen, Campaigner for Greenpeace Netherlands, said: “This is a setback, but the public will understand the real concern here is Shell’s plan. We will continue to fight alongside experts and governments against Shell’s intention to dump 11.000 tonnes of oil in the North Sea. Greenpeace has almost 50 years of experience with safe and peaceful protest. We strongly believe in the right to protest and will keep defending it. Shell can try to shut us up, but we will only get louder.”  

Michelle Jonker-Argueta, Legal Counsel for Greenpeace International stated: “Currently we are waiting for the written ruling. Then we need to thoroughly analyse it before making any decisions about a possible appeal. In any event, Greenpeace will get to fight for the right to hold the industry accountable through safe and peaceful protest when the court considers Shell’s request for a permanent ban.”

Shell’s attempt at a judicial ban on all Greenpeace protests near or on the Brent oil platforms came after a safe and peaceful protest by Greenpeace International and Greenpeace Nederland on 14 and 15 October. Activists climbed the Brent Alpha and Bravo and hung banners with the words: ‘Shell, clean up your mess!’ and ‘Stop Ocean Pollution’. They also painted the words ‘toxic waste’ on one of the platforms.

A ban on dumping installations and platforms in the North East Atlantic ocean was agreed in 1998 by all members of the OSPAR Commission. Shell has requested an exemption from the UK government. Greenpeace is not alone in its concerns. Both the Dutch Government and the German Government have criticised the plans of Shell and came to the conclusion, based on independent expert opinions, that Shell’s study into complete dismantling of the platforms is inadequate.[2][3] 


Photo and video available here


[1] Data from two Shell reports: Brent Field Decommissioning Environmental Statement, Feb. 2017; and Brent Decommissioning Derogation Assessment, Nov. 2018, OSPAR consultation.




Saskia van Aalst press officer, Greenpeace Netherlands: +316-2503 1014,

Greenpeace International Press Desk: +31 (0)20 718 2470 (available 24 hours), 

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