Shell’s profit comes at our expense

7 April 2015

Blogpost by Isadora Wronski - Climate Campaigner at Greenpeace Nordic Climate science has made it clear that Arctic oil needs to stay in the ground if we want to avoid the worst impacts from global climate change. We know it and we also know that Shell knows it too.


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A ships next to a controlled burn of oil on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico near BP’s Deepwater Horizon spill source. 06/17/2010 © Daniel Beltrá / Greenpeace

Knowingly going ahead with an Arctic oil exploration programme that would threaten this unique northern environment, the livelihoods of the people who depend on it whilst further altering our climate just for the sake of a company’s short term profit is cynical in the extreme. In fact, we think it’s totally unacceptable.

The US government admits there’s a 75% chance that oil drilling in the Chukchi sea will result in a large oil spill at some point. And to add to that risk factor; Shell is bringing in Transocean, the same company that owned the rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexcio, killing 11 people and causing the biggest marine oil spill of all time. Taking that risk to try to wring out a few more drops of oil that our climate can’t afford to burn is completely mad. It shows just how far this company is willing to go, unless we stop them.

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Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig Disaster. 04/21/2010 © The United States Coast Guard

Later this year politicians are expected to agree on a global deal at the COP 21 climate talks in Paris. If they stick to their previous commitment to keep the increase of the average global temperature below 2 degrees, Shell’s Arctic programme will stick out like a sore thumb and ought to be consigned to the history books.

Shell has already invested $6 billion in Arctic drilling at a point in time when all energy investments should be directed towards the safe, smart, efficient and renewable solutions we need for the future.

Arctic oil is a disaster just waiting to happen. But it won’t happen with our consent. Together, we’re millions of people and we won’t let Shell get away with their reckless hunt for more oil in the icy waters of the far north.

Isadora Wronski is a Climate Campaigner for Greenpeace Nordic.