This morning three Greenpeace polar bears chained themselves to oil barrels in front of Norwegian energy firm Statoil’s office in central Moscow. Holding banners reading “Arctic worth more than oil” and “Arctic not for sale,” our brave polar bears declared they are being held hostage by oil companies rushing to drill in the Arctic.
But why would these polar bears do something like this against a company from an enlightened and progressive place like Norway?
After all, Norway conjures up images of towering mountain ranges, clean, fresh air, stunning fjords, glaciers, waterfalls and abundant wildlife. That same, liberal Norway whose prodigious environmental virtues and policies sets the benchmark for sustainability.
But a dark shadow lies just behind this green and pleasant visage: an oil company whose plans could tarnish Norway’s green reputation forever and put the Arctic in serious trouble.
This oil company is Statoil, the Norwegian state-owned energy provider, and it has huge plans to explore for oil in almost every corner of the Arctic.
Though Statoil recently announced it was cancelling plans plans to drill in the chilly Arctic waters of the Norwegian Barents Sea this summer, it still wants to look for oil away from prying eyes in the remote Russian Arctic, where drilling regulations are far less strict. What’s worse, to make its Arctic dream a reality, Statoil has teamed up with a company responsible for more spills than any other on the planet: Russian oil behemoth Rosneft.
The Arctic is already an endangered and fragile environment. Its ice is melting fast, the vanishing white blanket at the top of the world warning us that if we don’t stop exploiting this pristine environment, the impact on everyone could be devastating. There is no technology to deal with an oil spill under ice and, considering the catastrophes already caused by Rosneft, there is a big chance that the same will happen with in the fragile Arctic Ocean.
Statoil’s plan is perfectly clear: it wants to make a fat profit at the expense of the Arctic, risking spills in icy waters a long way from Norway, whilst keeping up its veneer of social responsibility at the same time.
We can’t allow this to happen. This is why our polar bears took action in Moscow and we have a way to stop Statoil!
Russian police have just taken our polar bears into custody, but not before they managed to hand over a letter to Statoil’s head of Public Affairs demanding the company scrap its plans to operate in the far north and you can help too!
At the next Statoil AGM on the 14th of May, the Norwegian government can vote to stop the company drilling in the ice. We need your help to put pressure on the government to make the right decision for the future of the Arctic!
Take action and send a letter directly to Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg to tell him to make sure that Statoil keeps its paws off the Arctic!