Since its beginning in the 1960s, the North Sea oil industry has earned billions of Euros profit and helped fill the coffers of a number of European governments. At the same time these oil and gas operations have contributed to the climate crisis, marine pollution, and endangered marine life. 

But we need to leave that behind.

Oil rig ‘Ninian’ in the Brent Oil Field. © Karsten Smid / Greenpeace © Karsten Smid / Greenpeace

The consequences of the fossil fuels operations in the North Sea are devastating: 

  • The equivalent of 1 oil tanker accident per year and 1 chemical accident per day have been polluting the ocean and threatening the amazing biodiversity that lives there.
  • Thousands of jobs in the oil and gas sector are being lost with no planning for a just transition for the workers, and the situation is going to worsen.
  • The increasing greenhouse gas emissions are accelerating the climate emergency in a way that makes it almost impossible to tackle.

This is not exactly breaking news – we know that returning to normal after Covid-19 will destroy our oceans, the climate, and cost jobs. We also know that the most vulnerable people and regions of the planet will suffer terrible consequences.

Fortunately, we still have a choice.

We need to look forward to a clean and healthy North Sea: as a source of 100% renewable energy that could provide greener jobs, and where extraordinary biodiversity – from cold water corals to hundreds of species of fish, marine mammals, and millions of sea birds – is protected.

A sea star on the bottom of the North Sea © Kick Stokvis / Greenpeace © Kick Stokvis / Greenpeace

But to make it possible, we need to start the #NorthSeaRevolution, and we need to start it now!

We have a unique chance to #BuildBackBetter and to put people and nature first. We can fight the climate crisis and make a just transition to end the age of oil, if we stay alert and mobilised and act in solidarity with those who are suffering the most.

Join us to force governments to start a safe, fair, and green transition and for a North Sea free of fossil fuels!

The North Sea revolution is starting, and we need you on our side!

Silvia Diaz is a North Sea Revolution engagement expert at Greenpeace International