Select Committee MPs were yesterday warned by Greenpeace to take a tough stance on oil exploration and drilling activities in the Arctic. Retreating ice shelves in the Arctic have led to increased interest from oil companies, with environmentalists worried the delicate nature of the continent may not cope with a disaster.
Greenpeace’s Chief Policy Advisor told ELN the risks of a spill in the Arctic were higher than oil companies were letting on and if such a disaster occurred the vulnerable environment may be much harder to clean up, risking serious long term damage.
Ruth Davis said: “The oil industry is taking the stance that the likelihood of an accident is small however, the risk is very real and they are not planning for a worst case scenario.”
Greenpeace say that if a major accident occurred, companies would have a limited time period to deal with it, as ice can encroach quickly, making normal clean-up operations ineffective.
The Environmental Audit Committee inquiry wants to establish a long-term treaty to help protect the Arctic.