Greenpeace creates a portal to the Antarctic

The live broadcast will feature penguin colonies.

Greenpeace: structure is designed to look like a porthole
Greenpeace: structure is designed to look like a porthole

Greenpeace has installed a portal to the Antarctic in London's Trafalgar Square.

The four-metre-high structure will broadcast live from remote penguin colonies in the Antarctic Peninsula, giving visitors the chance to observe a region of the world that is sensitive to climate change.

The portal will broadcast live from 10am until 8pm each day until 29 January.

Greenpeace International is in the Antarctic working with scientists from Stony Brook University in the US, conducting research on the decline of penguin populations in the region. Louisa Casson, ocean campaigner for Greenpeace UK, was able to speak through the portal from an Antarctic expedition. She said urgent action was needed to tackle climate change. 

Last week, the expedition discovered a breeding colony of Gentoo penguins further south than ever previously recorded. Hitherto, it had been too cold for the species to successfully raise chicks. This is a sign of the impact of the climate crisis transforming this region. 

The initiative is part of Greenpeace's Protect the Oceans campaign. This calls for ocean protection in the Antarctic and beyond through a Global Ocean Treaty, which could be agreed at the UN in March.

Will McCallum, head of oceans at Greenpeace UK, said: "During the pandemic, most of us have felt pretty cut off from nature. But the world around us is still going on, and places like the Antarctic are declining fast: we can't afford to look away. This Antarctic portal is like looking through a window. We're bringing the remote and fragile Antarctic straight into the heart of a bustling city over 8,000 miles away.

"We see these places on nature documentaries and they seem like another world, but they're not, they're our world. What happens in the Antarctic affects us all. Hopefully, people being able to see life going on in the Antarctic first hand, like these penguin chicks waddling across in front of me, will bring home how real and urgent the plight of the oceans is ahead of crucial government negotiations at the United Nations this March."

Greenpeace UK worked with Event Engineering to deliver the project.

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