UK opposes Arctic drilling ban

2013-01-15 14:12

((AFP))

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

London - Britain opposes a stop to oil and gas drilling in the Arctic, the government said in a report on Tuesday, dismissing a parliamentary committee call to impose an exploration ban in the environmentally fragile region.

The Arctic holds 30% of the world's undiscovered gas and 13% of its untapped oil, experts estimate, but exploration there is risky and costly, and any spills would severely threaten the environment.

Members of the Arctic Council including Norway, the United States and Russia are promoting safe fossil fuel exploration in the Arctic, but none have responded to environmentalists' calls to ban the activity outright.

Britain is not a member of the Arctic Council but is one of six observer countries that have an interest in activities in the Arctic and can make recommendations to the eight governing Arctic states.

In September, a British parliamentary committee urged the government to immediately stop all oil and gas drilling in the Arctic, which it described as "reckless", until an oil-spill response standard is put in place.

Instead of a ban, the foreign ministry said it was pressing for tighter global laws to protect marine biodiversity in the Arctic and supported efforts to improve oil spill prevention.

"These measures, combined with effective and ambitious global action to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, are more likely to be effective in protecting the Arctic environment than pressing for a complete moratorium on all drilling in the Arctic region," the government said in the report.

The government plans to publish the first policy framework for the Arctic later this year to spell out Britain's position regarding oil and gas exploration, sustainable fishing and shipping in the Arctic, among other policy interests, the report said.

"We are acutely aware of the potential environmental impacts of an oil spill in the Arctic and recognise the risks of drilling for hydrocarbons. We therefore fully support the use of the highest environmental and drilling standards in the Arctic," a government spokesman said.

The Shell-owned oil rig Kulluk ran aground in stormy weather in Alaska on New Year's Eve, highlighting the dangers involved in Arctic oil and gas exploration.

The UK's Environmental Audit committee said on Tuesday it would invite Shell to give further evidence to Parliament on the incident and might update its report to include the new evidence.

"The grounding of the Kulluk rig raises serious questions about the safety of Shell's operations in the Arctic," said Joan Walley, the committee chairwoman.

Read more on:    environment
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

• Cultivate your intuitive powers – intuition and insight are emphasized today. The focus is still on organisation and...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.