Oil giant Shell has filed a lawsuit against environmental organization Greenpeace, seeking $2.1 million in damages. The legal action comes after activists boarded a ship transporting a platform to the North Sea earlier this year.
According to a Shell spokesperson, the costs incurred to secure court injunctions and deal with the action at sea were significant. Measures such as mobilizing an extra safety vessel and increasing security at the port were implemented in response to safety concerns caused by the activists' actions. While Shell respects the right to express differing viewpoints, it emphasizes the importance of doing so with consideration for one's own safety and that of others.
For Greenpeace, this lawsuit is reportedly being viewed as the organization's "biggest legal threat" in its 50-year history. The incident that sparked the legal action occurred when four Greenpeace protesters boarded the White Marlin ship near the Canary Islands and remained on board for 13 days until it reached Norway. Shell obtained an injunction at the time to prevent additional protesters from reaching the ship.
Greenpeace claims that Shell offered to reduce the damages claim to $1.4 million if its activists agreed to avoid any interaction with the company, both at port and at sea. However, Greenpeace would only agree to these terms if Shell followed a 2021 court order from the Netherlands that requires a 45% reduction in emissions by 2030, a decision that Shell is currently appealing.
Greenpeace has been contacted for comment.