SAVE THE ARCTIC
The Arctic Council is the pre-eminent regional body involved in discussing and determining the future governance and management of the Arctic. It was founded with a strong focus on the protection of the Arctic environment, but the Arctic Council is now at a crossroads. Despite its admirable research record, it has produced almost no binding agreements that will drive concrete action to safeguard the region from the twin threats of climate change and poorly regulated industrial development. The Council must raise its game if it is to be seen as a body capable of safeguarding the Arctic, rather than presiding over its unsustainable exploitation at the behest of big business interests.
The Arctic Council remains uniquely placed to take the action needed to help safeguard the region and secure a prosperous and sustainable future for its Peoples. Greenpeace is calling on the Foreign Ministers attending the Arctic Council meeting in Kiruna to agree the following steps towards this goal:
- Take action on marine reserves, including supporting the establishment of a global sanctuary in the central Arctic Ocean that would keep the area off-limits to Arctic oil drilling.
- Support a ban on drilling for oil in offshore Arctic environments, where there is a wealth of evidence to show that it would not be possible to clean up a spill effectively.
- Agree to undertake new, urgent action to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of Arctic states.
- Introduce a moratorium on industrial fishing in previously unfished areas of the Arctic.
- Undertake a review of the transparency and inclusiveness of the Arctic Council.
Ruth Davis, Greenpeace Senior political advisor: +44 7949 024173
Jessica Wilson, Press Contact Greenpeace International: +44 7896 893118
For more information about the situation in the Arctic:
Arctic Council risks and possibilities
The new Chair's gloomy environmental background
The risks with industrial Arctic oceans fisheries