Year in Pictures 2023 – our biggest campaigns captured on camera

As we approach the end of the year, these photos reflect some of Greenpeace's most iconic global actions in 2023.


In 2023, Greenpeace confronted polluters, protested deep sea mining, and worked to rid our food systems of deforestation.

The pictures featured here represent just a fraction of our activities and noteworthy moments. They fill us with hope for a more green and peaceful future.

And they remind us that only our committed supporters, courageous volunteers, and dedicated activists make any of this possible.

Peaceful protest against fossil fuels at sea

Early this year, activists from the places worst affected by climate change took the fight to major polluter, Shell. Their aim was to highlight Shell’s irresponsible intentions to expand oil and gas drilling.

The activists boarded the White Marlin, transporting equipment for Shell’s oil and gas production in the North Sea. It was the longest ever occupation of a moving oil platform.

Three tiny rhib boats with white water trailing behind them approach a giant red oil platform with a large crane rising up to double its height, and two additional structures on each side. The platform are sat on the horizon of a still seascape at sunset, with pink clouds framing the structures.

© Chris J Ratcliffe / Greenpeace

As Shell announced record annual profits of £32bn, activists demanded that they pay for the loss and damage they’ve caused.

Fossil fuels cause climate change – meaning destruction and displacement around the world. The people and countries least to blame for the climate crisis feel these impacts the most.

We demand an end to fossil fuels. And we need a just transition towards cheap, clean, renewable energy in a way that benefits communities, workers and the climate.

A man in a suit walks past a large billboard with a Shell logo in front of a fire scene, reading "Our profit, Your loss", in front of the entrance to a large office building with a double-height reception glowing with lights.

© Chris J Ratcliffe / Greenpeace

In July, the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior arrived in Funafuti, Tuvalu. Tuvalu is one of the most climate-vulnerable nations in the world. Much of the country sits at less than three metres above sea level.

Sea level rise and storm surges leading to tidal flooding, food insecurity and cultural loss. Climate change is an immediate and serious threat to Tuvalu’s future as a nation.

During the visit, Greenpeace campaigners met with community and government leaders. They listened to and engaged in ‘talanoa’ or discussion, to learn how best to support Pacific climate demands.

Three women of colour with bright clothing stand smiling, the one in front with her thumbs up, in front of the green Rainbow Warrior ship, with a yellow banner on its railing reading "Together we stand"
A white man in a white t-shirt stands facing a man of colour with white beard wearing a garment made of straw. They are smiling and clasping each others hands.

Documenting climate change

Greenpeace documented the impacts of climate change worldwide. Scorching wildfires hit South Sumatra; destructive fires ravaged Hawaii. There was drought in the Amazon Rainforest, and flooding in Norway.

An entirely deep orange forest scene with a person in firefighting gear holding a hose, the water from which is pouring out in a straight line and is as bright orange as the fire burning underneath it.

Forest and peatland fires in Palem Raya village, North Indralaya Ogan Ilir in South Sumatra, Indonesia, worsened air quality to an unhealthy level in Palembang city. © Muhammad Tohir / Greenpeace

Climate change is also having a major impact on marine and coastal life in the Pacific. Here a local man observes coastal erosion on Kakula Island, north of Efate Island, Vanuatu.

A man in a colourful patterned shirt stands at the shore of a Crystal clear light bluey-green sea, water up to his knees. A couple of fallen tree stumps are visible with the fallen trees on the right of the image. In the background is a mountain island

© Niki Kuautonga / Greenpeace

In October, Greenpeace Brazil took aid to people most affected by the Amazon’s worst-ever drought. They offered logistic support to organisations researching the impacts on local fauna.

Pictured here is the river that supplies water in the Porto Praia community of the Kokama Indigenous People.

Timbulsloko in Indonesia is one of many places already experiencing the climate crisis directly. Greenpeace and local residents installed a solar water pump here, helping provide clean water.

A dried out riverbed U-bend in brown with no vegetation or any signs of life around it holds two boats which have been beached in the sand of the riverbed
Three people, two in red boiler suits with orange helmets, sit and stand on a rooftop with the sea in the background. The person in the foreground is holding a solar panel over their head, about to place it next to a solar panel strip already affixed to the roof

Holding polluters accountable

In Kenya, climate activists took to the streets during the Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi.

They urged the African Union to lead by example and protect African biodiversity, end fossil fuels driving catastrophic climate change and invest in real solutions by shifting to solar and wind energy.

And in the Middle East and North Africa, youth organisers and mobilisers from almost 100 countries attended the week-long Climate Justice Camp in Lebanon.

A crowd of indigenous Africans dressed with red, yellow and green collars and face markings. They are holding long sticks and yellow banners reading "less talk more action for climate..."
A bird's eye view of a crowd of people arranged in a circle around a blue hand. Underneath is a red banner with an Arabic text printed in yellow.

In October, hundreds of demonstrators gathered in front a Mayfair hotel to protest against the influence of the fossil fuel industry on UK and global climate politics. They included Swedish environmentalist Greta Thunberg.

A crowd of people stand holding photographs high in the air, many wearing the same black "climate justice NOW!" T shirt, standing behind a smiling man with a beard and longish curly light brown hair.

Demonstrators and photographer Gideon Mendel, whose images of climate impacted communities feature on the placards, gather in central London to protest against the influence of the fossil fuel industry on UK and global climate politics. © Chris J Ratcliffe / Greenpeace

In November, Filipino climate activists on kayaks and the Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior ship blocked access to a Shell terminal.

They called on President Marcos Jr. of the Philippines and world governments to make Shell and other fossil fuel companies pay for the damage they cause.

A night-time scene on water lit by a red vessel's bright yellow lighting. On the water are around six kayaks and an activist holding a yellow banner uplit to read the words "Make climate polluters pay". On the red structure under the lights are hung posters in yellow, both with black handprints and "make climate polluters pay" text underneath.

© Noel Celis / Greenpeace

During a rainy weekend in mid-April, Greenpeace joined forces with Extinction Rebellion and over 200 other organisations in London for The Big One.

The Big One brought together the entire climate movement and beyond. Over 60,000 people collectively pressured the government for more effective action.

A scene in front of Big Ben with many in a crowd waving colourful flags. In front of the cloud is a huge green banner reading "No nature, no future"

© Kristian Buus / Greenpeace

In August, four Greenpeace climbers draped Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s mansion with oil-black fabric. They were protesting new North Sea oil and gas licenses.

It wasn’t the first time campaigners visited Sunak’s mansion this year. In April, they hosted a pool party to highlight Sunak’s hypocrisy. The prime minister privately upgraded the local grid for his £400,000 heated pool. The National Grid remains neglected, with impacts on UK energy supply.

The protest worked to spark changes in law promising upgrades to the grid for more renewable energy.

Against a brown wall, grey sky with leafless trees, a row of people in very colourful costumes, including flip flops and goggles and pool toys. A sunset-coloured banner reads in tropical-themed writing "Pool Party at Rishi's" with two palm tree motifs

Greenpeace UK activists wearing swimming trunks, flip flops and caps lined up outside Rishi Sunak’s Grade-II listed manor house in Richmond, Yorkshire. © Lucy Cartwright / Greenpeace

A treaty to protect the oceans – but a new threat of deep sea mining

It was good news for the oceans this year. In June 2023, governments met at the United Nations to officially adopt the Global Ocean Treaty. This Treaty is the legal tool that will help governments create vast protected areas covering at least 30% of the oceans by 2030. 

two very tall lit-up buildings with beautiful tapered lighting designs rise up between more dark tall buildings, with a sliver of sky behind. the building in the foregrounudhas a projection in yellow streamed in from light from the top left of the frame, and reads "Protect the Oceans"

Greenpeace USA activists project ocean protection messages onto the Chrysler Building to send a clear message to delegates at the United Nations in New York during the second week of the resumed IGC5 negotiations. © Greenpeace

But despite the successful signing of the Global Ocean Treaty, a new threat to our oceans remains. Deep sea mining threatens to destroy huge parts of the ocean floor. This would wipe out fragile habitats and species, many of which haven’t even been discovered yet.

Less than two weeks after the agreement of the Global Ocean Treaty, delegates gathered in Kingston, Jamaica, for a meeting of the International Seabed Authority. Greenpeace was there with one clear message: Stop Deep Sea Mining.

A bright green ship with a rainbow and white bird motif on its front sits in a still bay with buildings in the distance. There is a black square banner on the ship that reads "Stop deep sea mining"
A black background shows off the translucent oval fish with two fins and two feet. Its eyes are on either side of its face and it looks to be smiling, the only solid part of the fish is its yellow internal body, the rest is almost entirely seethrough
A nighttime cliffside is daak except for a massive projection reading 'stop deep sea mining', surrounded by colourful drawings of jellyfish. The light for the projection streams in in yellow and blue from the right of the image

"Stop Deep Sea Mining" is projected on the White Cliffs of Dover calling for a halt to deep sea mining. The ISA has opened up over 1.5 million km2 – an area four times the size of Germany - for deep sea mining exploration. © Dan Hatch / Greenpeace

In November, activists from around the world paddled around MV COCO, a specialised offshore drilling ship. It’s collecting data for deep sea mining frontrunner, The Metals Company. The ship was on its last expedition before it files the world’s first application to mine the seabed in the Pacific Ocean.

The Metals Company tried to stop the kayak based protest. But the judge ruled that “Greenpeace’s protest is directed against an issue of great social importance”. The judge also acknowledged that “manganese nodule mining is highly controversial”.

A dark scene with some final sunset light in the sky, with a large ship on the right towering over a small kayak with two activists; one is paddling and the other is holding a sign (illegible) up to the ship. Two people in white hard hats and boiler suits look down at the protesters from the side of the ship.

© Martin Katz / Greenpeace

In the UK, Greenpeace activists reminded the government that its leadership on ocean protection is in jeopardy. This is because of the continued frenzy to drill for new oil and gas in the North Sea.

Expanding oil drilling poses serious threats to marine life as well as the climate. So ahead of the King’s Speech, activists placed a 7m x 20m octopus on the riverbank of the Thames at the foot of Big Ben.

A bright pink inflated octopus shape with bulging eyes and white detailing on the head and tentacles sits on some steps down to a river with Big Ben visible in the background. The octoput is half laid across a rhib boat with a grey banner reading Greenpeace in orange. Behind is a yellow banner reading "Protect the oceans"

© Kristian Buus / Greenpeace

Addressing the broken food system

In October, Greenpeace worked with artists JC Niala in collaboration with Julia Utreras and Sam Skinner with

They produced an allotment waiting list made from seed paper embedded with Amazon ash. The artwork was 30 metres long.

Three people – a white man, a brown man and a Black woman smiling – stand against a lush green plant background and bright pink flowers in the foreground.
IN a white room three people stand over a white sheet scattering seeds and dust. In the background hands a white banner with giant numbers 1 and 8 printed with a grey pattern

The artists and volunteers carried seed paper artwork to the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

The piece showed how allotments can help solve to food insecurity, the cost of living crisis and the climate emergency.

A day later they guerilla-planted it at a disused Tesco-owned site in Litherland, just north of Liverpool. Planting it here was an act of defiance against the industrial food industry.

A long line of people stand in front of a big building, holding a white banner with grey lettering banner reading "We, 174,183..." becoming illegible thanks to its length and people standing in front holding a large piece of white paper

© Elizabeth Dalziel / Greenpeace

A birds-eye view of a very large and long white banner is split into four lines to be laid on a piece of brown land, recently ploughed and surrounded by green shrubs, reading "we, 174,138 on THE WAITING LIST demand ALLOTMENTS". There are a couple of people and ladders around showing the scale

© Greenpeace

Investigating plastic waste

Greenpeace campaigners discovered plastic waste from UK brand Dove at Freedom Island at in the Philippines. The waste was found at Las Piñas – Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area. This is a supposedly protected area near Manila.

Dove and its parent company Unilever is one of the world’s top 5 plastic polluters.

Dove is pumping huge volumes of harmful single-use plastic out into the world, fuelling a human and environmental crisis. That includes millions of impossible-to-recycle sachets which are severely polluting countries in the Global South.

A woman in a Greenpeace t-shirt stands holding a small piece of plastic reading Dove against a background filled entirely with plastic waste

© Jilson Tiu / Greenpeace

A village street is completely filled with plastic rubbish and bags of all colours and sizes, which is piled high on the right side of the road. A small girl is walking over rubbish towards the shack-link buildings just beyond.
A birdseye view of thin boats in green blue and red; the ground around them is littered with colourful small bits of plastic

These images show evidence of the Unilever signature brand’s highly-polluting plastic sachets. Activists brought them to Unilever HQ together with a 10ft Dove pump bottle. The protesters urged the company to phase-out single-use plastic and switch to reusable packaging in the next 10 years.

A giant Dove pump bottle stands in front of a white London building. A Greenpeace activist in a red jacket stands next to it, and it towers over her at around twice her height. The bottle reads "Dove Real Harm" "Real Change starts with YOU. Watch this video" with a QR code. It also reads "Tell Unilever to: Stop selling sachets now. End single use plastic within 10 years"

© Angela Christofilou / Greenpeace


As the year comes to an end, we want to thank you for all that you have made possible. Your support empowers us to investigate, document, lobby, take peaceful action and advocate for transformative change.

A massive thank you from all of us at Greenpeace!

An image of a cliff at night with a projection reading "Thank you" with a rainbow streaming from behind a white bird. and the word Greenpeace
An otter i water looks like it's praying with its wet paws clasped together, looking straight at the camera with its fluffy blonde face and dark nose

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