Stars demand Arctic sanctuary
Stars are launching a campaign to save the Arctic. Credit: NOAA
Famous faces including Sir Paul McCartney, Penelope Cruz, Robert Redford, One Direction, and Sir Richard Branson are demanding that oil drilling and unsustainable fishing are banned in Arctic waters.
They are among the first one hundred names to be written on an Arctic Scroll, which is launched by Greenpeace today at the Rio Earth Summit. When a million others add their own names Greenpeace will embark on an expedition to plant it on the seabed at the North Pole, four kilometres beneath the ice. The spot will be marked by a Flag for the Future designed by the youth of the world.
In 2007 Russian explorer Artur Chilingarov planted a Russian flag on the seabed beneath the pole and 'claimed' it for Moscow. It was later revealed he was acting on the instructions of the Russian Government.
Greenpeace says that the huge expanse around the pole belongs to all of us because it is defined in international law as the high seas. But as temperatures rise and the ice melts the Arctic states - Russia, Canada, the US, Norway and Denmark - are making territorial claims on the seabed so they can open the door to oil companies, the organisation claims.
Sir Paul McCartney said: "The Arctic is one of the most beautiful and last untouched regions on our planet, but now it's under threat. Some countries and companies want to open it up to oil drilling and industrial fishing and do to the Arctic what they've done to the rest of our fragile planet. 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."
Greenpeace’s campaign will initially focus on pushing for a UN resolution demanding a global sanctuary around the pole and a ban on oil drilling and unsustainable fishing in the wider Arctic.
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