Frustrated by the move by the US to allow Shell to begin drilling in the Arctic Ocean this summer ... along with many countries jockeying for position to exploit the Arctics' mineral and oil resources and turn it into major, new shipping lanes ... as the ice melts ...
Greenpeace announced at Rio+20 that it is launching an international campaign to protect the Arctic as a global sanctuary. The World Wildlife Fund also has this as a priority.
Greenpeace successfully did the same for Antarctica, which swallowed more than half its annual budget from 1985-1991, when it was finally declared a World Park, with mineral exploitation banned for 50 years, and an environmental protocol signed.
It would create a sanctuary in the uninhabited core, and ban oil drilling and unsustainable fishing in the Arctic ocean.
The campaign is backed by an A-list of celebrities, including Paul McCartney, Robert Redford, Penelope Cruz, Ed Norton, and many others, along with scientists and explorers, business leaders and environmentalists.
"The Arctic is one of the most beautiful and last untouched regions on our planet, but now it's under threat," says Paul McCartney. "It seems madness that we are willing to go to the ends of the Earth to find the last drops of oil when our best scientific minds are telling us we need to get off fossil fuels to give our children a future. At some time, in some place, we need to take a stand. I believe that time is now and that place is the Arctic."
"We're drawing a line in the ice and saying to the polluters, ‘You come no further.' People ask me why I, as an African, care so deeply about the Arctic, but the answer is simple. The Arctic is the world's refrigerator, it keeps us cool by reflecting the sun's energy off its icy surface, but as the ice melts it's accelerating global warming, threatening lives and livelihoods on every continent. Wherever we come from, the Arctic is our destiny," says Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director of Greenpeace.
An unprecedented amount of seismic mapping by companies such as Shell and Maersk Oil of Denmark will be undertaken off the coast of Greenland. Russian oil giant Gazprom is pushing into the offshore Arctic, and in the coming weeks Shell is expected to start drilling exploratory wells at two offshore sites in the Alaskan Arctic.
Greenpeace and supporters want a resolution from the United Nations to create the Arctic Sanctuary.
You can sign the petition at the website below. Here's a short video: