2022: the year in pictures

Greenpeace photographers captured another year of climate change, activism and the beauty of nature. Here are some of the best images from 2022.


As the year comes to a close, we’re looking back at some of its incredible moments. 2022 was another difficult year worldwide. But thanks to the help of you – our dedicated supporters, brave volunteers and activists – we still have hope for a greener and better future.

We’ve taken action in so many ways, including: activists stopping an oil tanker from docking, campaigners placing more boulders to block destructive industrial fishing and 250, 000 people taking part in the Big Plastic Count.

The images featured are a small selection from the amazing photos captured around the world this year. But they show that people’s will to fight for the protection of our planet is unbroken.

Researching threatened Antarctic penguins and new ways to fund development in the Amazon

In January, Greenpeace’s ship Arctic Sunrise returned to the Antarctic. On board were a team of independent scientists from Stony Brook University in New York. They set out to investigate the impacts of the climate crisis on Antarctic penguin populations. These images give viewers a glimpse of rarely-visited penguin colonies, many of which had never been studied before.

A penguin colony spreads across a beach towards a distant hill and the icy ocean on a clear day.

An Adélie penguin colony in Antarctica. © Tomás Munita / Greenpeace

A woman in warm clothing uses a wooden oar to help propel a boat along icy waters.
A seal cheekily turns to the camera while lounging on ice in front of a group of penguins.

1. Lead campaigner, Louisa Casson, helps steer a rigid inflatable boat in Antarctica. © Tomás Munita / Greenpeace
2. A Weddell seal next to an Adélie penguin colony – one of the biggest in the Antarctic. © Tomás Munita / Greenpeace

In Brazil, Greenpeace campaigners started an expedition on the Manicoré River in June. The aim was to find new ways to fund development for the region based on forest potential, the knowledge of traditional and Indigenous populations, and promoting scientific research.

A small brown bird perches on a person’s fingers as they gently touch its beak.

Greenpeace Brazil invited the National Institute for Amazonian Research (INPA) to document biodiversity in the Manicoré River. This included studying birds in different areas to understand local variation. © Tuane Fernandes / Greenpeace

A black monkey with a pinkish nose and mouth sits on a leafy tree on a sunny day.

A white-nosed saki in a forest near the Manicoré river in the Amazon. © Valdemir Cunha / Greenpeace

Protesting against fossil fuels and war in Ukraine

As war began in February, Greenpeace UK joined others globally to stand with the Ukrainian people. Campaigners began highlighting that fossil fuels were funding war and protests took place worldwide against oil imports from Russia.

In May, activists blocked an oil tanker importing Russian diesel from docking in the UK. By occupying the terminal on the Thames, they forced the tanker to turn around with its cargo. The activists defended their actions in November and the court ruled not guilty in a “seismic victory” for UK energy policy.

A Greenpeace activist in climbing gear hangs from the edge of a huge commercial ship dock, holding a banner that says 'Fossil fuels war'. In the background, there's a giant concrete suspension bridge, and the milky pink sky of the early dawn.

Greenpeace climbers block tanker carrying 33,000 tonnes of Russian diesel to UK © Fionn Guilfoyle / Greenpeace

“No war” projected in blue and yellow (the colours of the Ukrainian flag) onto Tower bridge at night. The O in “no” has been changed to a peace sign.
Two Greenpeace activists above a city flying a peace sign and “Fossils = war. People love peace” banners

1. Greenpeace UK projected messages of peace on Tower bridge in London. © POW / Greenpeace
2. Greenpeace Nordic activists peacefully protested the war on construction cranes overlooking the Swedish parliament. © Christian Åslund / Greenpeace

Documenting the impacts of climate change

In August, Austrian campaigners revisited the glacier they’d documented in 2019 during the Climate Impact Tour. Most glaciers in Austria are retreating. They have lost half of their ice in the last 100 years due to rising temperatures and different patterns in rain and snowfall.

These images show the Schlatenkees glacier in Tyrol lost about 60-100m in only 3 years. The scale of this loss has never been seen before.

From above, a wrinkled glacier ice with a small water hole in the centre

Schlatenkees glacier documented in 2019. Schlatenkees is part of what used to be the largest glacial area in Austria. © Mitja Kobal / Greenpeace

From above, the same wrinkled glacier but the hole has turned into a lake, with sections of glacial ice breaking into the water.

Schlatenkees glacier in 2022. The glacier has retracted drastically, with a glacial lake clearly formed. The glacier tongue now is believed to be dead or broken. © Mitja Kobal / Greenpeace

Heatwaves, floods, droughts and fires also raged throughout the summer, bringing home that climate change impacts are happening now.

Flames engulf a forest floor as clouds of smoke smother the treetops above.

Climate emergency in France: flames ravaged more than 20,000 hectares, as western France was plagued by many fires. © Pierre Larrieu / Greenpeace

Seizing fishing line and campaigning for ocean protection

In July, activists seized 30km of fishing line – just 2.5% of the total length – to stop destructive fishing in the North Atlantic. They released a near-threatened blue shark, seven swordfish and other marine life caught on the lines.

Industrial fishing is pushing ocean ecosystems to breaking point. In August, the fifth global talks on marine biodiversity took place in New York. With the deadline of at least 30% of the world’s oceans protected by 2030 fast approaching, the talks hoped to agree a new Global Ocean Treaty.

Just days after UK leaders failed to help secure the treaty, Greenpeace activists sailed off the coast of Cornwall to build another boulder barrier to stop bottom-trawl fishing.

Golden lights glitter on a city bridge at night as a bright blue projection beams underneath. The projected text reads “Protect the oceans”

Greenpeace USA activists projected scenes of the beauty and fragility of the world’s oceans onto New York’s iconic Brooklyn Bridge. © POW / Greenpeace

A couple of activists in an inflatable boat pull fishing lines from bubbly ocean waves.
A shark caught on a hooked fishing line emerges from the ocean. The hook pulls painfully on the side of its mouth.

Greenpeace activists from the UK and Spain free a Mako shark from a fishing line. Fishing fleets from Spain and Portugal regularly fish in shark nursery grounds in the North Atlantic. © Pedro Armestre / Greenpeace

Celebrating people power and inspiring change

After three long years, Greenpeace returned to Glastonbury with a bang – inspiring change by celebrating activism, people power and protest.

The Greenpeace Field featured the famous 22m high interactive rave tree that housed a DJ booth to host incredible artists.

A giant illuminated tree stands proud above a large crowd who are watching live music on a stage at night.

The Rave Tree in the Greenpeace Field at Glastonbury 2022 © Alex Stoneman / Greenpeace

Speaking up about environmental justice and standing with local and Indigenous communities

Conversation and action towards greater environmental justice happened throughout 2022.

In April, charities and members of the public joined with the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil at a protest in London. The protest coincided with the start of the Indigenous Land camp in the Brazilian capital. In June, thousands demanded justice for Bruno and Dom. Their deaths were the latest in a series of attacks against Indigenous Communities, their land and allies in the Amazon.

In July, Greenpeace UK and the Runnymede Trust published a landmark report on environmental racism in the UK.

In November, before World Fisheries Day, the fishing community in Senegal protested against the fishmeal and fish oil industry. This industry has a devastating impact on the amount of fish in West African seas, on jobs and the food available for local communities.

Two people embrace while seated on the ground. Both their bodies are golden and one wears a traditional headdress.

Indigenous leaders and activists protested against a bill to legalise illegal mining in Indigenous lands by marching to ministries covered in mud and fake blood. © Tuane Fernandes / Greenpeace

Three Indigenous people wear traditional headdress and hold their fists out to show solidarity. Behind them, other protesters hold signs saying “Stop Brazil’s genocide now!” and “Defend Indigenous rights”

Charities and members of the public protested outside the Brazilian Embassy in London against the Bolsonaro government’s attempt to make it easier to exploit Indigenous lands. © Angela Christofilou / Greenpeace

Seen from above, people lie down between boats and the sea to spell words on the sand.

Members of a fishing community in Senegal come together with a local artist to create a human banner spelling out “Ana Sama Jën” (“Where is my fish?”). © Mbaye Ndir / Greenpeace

Counting UK plastic waste and fast fashion research in Kenya

Nearly a quarter of a million people took part in May’s The Big Plastic Count – the first citizen science investigation into UK plastic waste.

The results were shocking: UK households throw away about 96 billion pieces of plastic packaging a year – with most ending up burned, in landfill or exported. Schoolchildren from across the UK, who took part in the count, went to Westminster to lobby their MP about tackling the plastic crisis.

Greenpeace also investigated the fast fashion industry, visiting places of production through to waste. Used and new clothes are sent to Kenya from Europe and China to be sold as so-called “Mitumba” (clothing bundles). But so much is sent that clothes often end up in landfill instead.

A large bird flies above smoking piles of waste.

Textile and plastic waste at a dump in Nairobi. © Kevin McElvaney / Greenpeace

Group of young people outside Big Ben hold papers.

Children from schools around the country are invited to Westminster for a day full of plastic and politics themed fun © Angela Christofilou / Greenpeace

Asking the UK government “Who voted for this?”

In October, campaigners interrupted Liz Truss’s televised speech to denounce the then-prime minister’s “shredding” of her party’s election manifesto. Her government had announced U-turns on fracking, strong climate action and world-leading environmental protections.

Two campaigners standing up in an audience with a banner that reads “Who Voted For This?”

Greenpeace campaigners interrupted Liz Truss’s keynote speech at the Conservative Party Conference with the question: “Who voted for this?”. © Leon Neal / Getty Images

Campaigning for polluters to pay up at COP27

Climate justice continued as a theme for the world climate talks (COP27) in November. Each year, countries come together to agree on global action towards climate goals.

This year’s talks established a fund for loss and damage to start addressing the climate impacts already experienced by communities and countries around the world. But this was only a small step toward the climate action vitally needed, as negotiations failed to hold polluters to account.

Two people stand in floods next to a broken house. Their banners read “Climate crisis is real” and “Fossil no. Renewables now”

Campaigners protest in Central Java, Indonesia. Timbulsoko village was surrounded by farmland 30 years ago. Today it’s totally submerged by water from a combination of rising sea levels, sinking land and climate change. © Aji Styawan / Greenpeace

Diverse group of protesters march with banners along a sunny street. Their banners say things like "Kick polluters out" and "Reparations for damage and loss"
Two protesters raise their fists in solidarity during a march. Behind them, other protesters hold banners saying “Justice transition for all” and “This pale blue dot is all we’ve got”.

1. Climate protesters in Egypt during COP27. Campaigners demand that polluting companies and countries pay their fair share to repair climate damage. © Marie Jacquemin / Greenpeace
2. The climate protest in London during COP27 showed solidarity with communities facing the worst climate impacts. © Angela Christofilou / Greenpeace

Thank you!

As we close the year, we know how critical it is that we keep pushing for strong climate action. With your support, we’re able to investigate, take action and campaign for change. Nothing changes without you. So a massive thank you from everyone at Greenpeace!

Greenpeace campaigner swims underwater with a snorkel and a sign that says “Thank you” in a heart.
Two big whales with a baby whale happily jumping out of the water

1. © Lewis Burnett / Greenpeace and 2. © Tiffany Klein / Greenpeace

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