Today our fight for the Arctic moves from the frozen seas of Greenland into the courts of Amsterdam and Greenland.
Following our first occupation of its oil rig at the beginning of last week Cairn filed for an injunction with the courts in Amsterdam. The injunction is aimed at preventing us taking any further action to stop drilling in the Arctic. It would mean we’d be fined 2 million euros for every day any future protest stops drilling on the company’s Arctic oil rigs.
We responded first with another occupation of the rig in which a delegation of 18 activists boarded the Leiv Eiriksson demanding to see Cairn’s elusive oil spill response plan. Drilling was stopped again for another 10 hours but the plan was kept hidden.
Today we stepped up the campaign by lodging an official complaint with the Greenlandic parliament’s calling for the release of the oil spill response plan.
Our lawyers have submitted an official complaint to the ombudsman of the Greenland parliament. The complaint details how Cairn has denied public access to a series of crucial documents – including Cairn’s oil spill response plan; papers detailing how Cairn will pay for a clean up operation if a spill occurs; and a series of technical reports that would shed light on the risky nature of Arctic oil drilling.
This level of secrecy is not normal and can mean only one thing – they have something to hide.
Cairn’s lawyers are threatening us with millions of euros in fines, which shows just how desperate they are to keep the oil spill response plan secret. But Cairn can hire all the expensive lawyers they like, we won’t stop demanding what the public has a right to see. Along with Greenpeace, almost 45,000 people have sent emails to Cairn asking to see the response plan.
It should not be kept hidden any longer and when it is finally published we’ll see in black and white what the experts have been saying for months, that Cairn wouldn’t be able to clean up an Arctic oil spill. That should worry Cairn’s investors as much as it does those of us who want to see this beautiful fragile environment protected.