Emma Thompson joins Greenpeace celebrations as Shell halt Arctic exploration

Actress Emma Thompson has taken part in celebrations outside the London headquarters of Shell to celebrate the announcement that the company is cancelling plans to drill in the Arctic.

Emma Thompson helps volunteer puppeteers move Aurora, the double decker bus sized polar bear, from in front of Shell HQ in London Credit: PA

Greenpeace has long been protesting against the petrochemicals giant's attempt to explore for new reserves of fossil fuels off the Alaskan coast.

ITV News correspondent Richard Pallot reports:

Demonstrations have included a huge polar bear puppet the size of a double-decker bus performing outside their central London HQ for the last month.

Shell said it would cease exploration in the region for the foreseeable future after failing to find sufficient signs of oil and gas to make further exploration worthwhile, blaming high costs and a "challenging and unpredictable regulatory environment".

Environmentalists claimed Shell had also suffered huge reputational damage as a result of its activity in the Arctic, with protests in the US and around the world, including activists scaling the Shard in London.

Emma Thompson said:

A Dutch police boat passes the Greenpeace ship, the Rainbow Warrior. Credit: Reuters

Arctic offshore drilling is opposed by green campaigners because of fears over the difficulty of clearing up a major spill in the remote region, and the environmental impact it would have on wildlife.