This exploitation could speed the melting of the Polar ice cap, which would have severe consequences not only for the environment in the Arctic itself, but climate change in general by transforming weather patterns.
The marine biologist Sylvia Earle, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Richard Branson and leading NGOs are supporting the Declaration which has also been passed by the European Parliament. It can be found at http://www.arcticdeclaration.org/
Mark Lazarowicz was one of the MPs behind a pioneering report on protecting the Arctic published in September 2012 and he said: ““I am very pleased to see this Declaration highlight the dangers facing the Arctic if unrestrained commercial exploitation such as drilling for oil is allowed to go ahead.
“The long Arctic winter would make any clean-up operation extremely difficult – that’s why an environmental sanctuary over at least part of the Arctic is essential before we consider commercial exploitation on any scale.”
“The ice cap is already melting at an alarming speed and safeguarding it should be one of the key parts of any strategy to tackle climate change.”
The Declaration and its demands will be presented – along with a petition of five million names – to global leaders and to the foreign ministers of the Arctic States (USA, Russia, Canada, Norway and Denmark).