Polar Bears take action against Gazproms Arctic plans

by Ben Ayliffe

September 5, 2012

activist in a polar bear costume

Intrepid polar bears from Greenpeace visited Gazproms Moscow headquarters.

Early this morning, a team of intrepid polar bears from Greenpeace visited Gazproms flashy headquarters in Moscow. At the same time, activists from Greenpeace in Germany set up a leaking oil derrick outside the Gazprom offices in Berlin.

Why, you ask, would such a sensible creature as a polar bear take such extreme action in the heart of one of the worlds biggest cities?

Simple. To demand that Gazprom, one of the worlds biggest energy companies, scrap it reckless plans to drill for oil in the pristine waters of the Russian Arctic.

Just the other week, Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo and a team of activiststook direct action to stopGazproms hulking oil platformPrirazlomnayapreparing to drill in the Pechora Sea. This rusting monstrosity could be the first ever platform anywhere on the planet that will produce commercial quantities of oil from the offshore Arctic.

Our Russian bears set up their very own Arctic sanctuary outside the Gazprom HQ, with activists locked on to gates, amid snow flurries and curious onlookers. In Berlin, a leaking oil pipe is spewing fake oil all over ice, reminding Gazprom just how difficult it would be to clean up an accident in the frozen north.

As I write, 10 activists in Moscow have been arrested by police. Were doing our best to get them out as quickly as possible, but theyve done this because the creeping industrialisation of the Arctic by the likes of Gazprom and Shell has to stop.

Not only would a spill in the Arctic be impossible to clean up, we cannot afford to burn vast amounts of new greenhouse gases if were serious about tackling global climate change. As sea ice in the high northreaches record low levels, the message couldnt be clearer:the Arctic is in crisis and we must act to save it.

This means creating a sanctuary at the top of the planet to protect this unique region forever. It means banning all oil drilling and keeping the Arctic off-limits to industrial fishing. We can do it, but we need your help.

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