This summer, Greenpeace stepped up its long standing crusade against Oil and in particular, oil giant Shell, who have been plotting and preparing to invade the Arctic to tap reserves of Oil laying deep under the pristine ocean and ice coated landscapes. On July 19th, I wrote an article regarding a major action by Greenpeace against Shell across the UK where activists shut down around 50 petrol stations from London to Glasgow. This morning, an unexpected voice raised concerns about drilling in the Arctic to gain access to its oil supply.
Speaking in The Financial Times today, CEO Christophe de Margerie of fellow oil giant Total stated that: “Energy companies should not drill for crude oil in Arctic waters”, before proceeding to shock us and probably the rest of the world by saying “…the risk of an oil spill in such an environmentally sensitive area is simply too high.” I didn’t think we would see the say where a CEO of a multinational oil giant would defend the environment, but it appears that day has in fact arrived.
While this is a massive news story and quite the revelation, the question is does Mr. de Margerie actually hold concerns for the Arctic environment? Maybe he is just slightly irritated that Shell managed to jump into the Arctic before Total did? Who knows, regardless of his motivation to slam the plans of drilling in the Arctic, this is a huge moment and I’m sure that Greenpeace, its supporters and anyone else that is angered about such a beautiful part of our world being threatened simply for profit and greed, will welcome these comments with open arms.
Over 2 million people have signed the Greenpeace petition to save the Arctic and their massive campaign has been supported by the likes of Sir Paul McCartney. Today sees the first time that a major oil company has echoed a message that Greenpeace has been promoting for years. Phenomenal.