In BriefShell boasts that it’s “Arctic Ready”, but an accident prone summer has shown that this will never be true. The Anglo-Dutch company is the first oil ‘super-major’ to move into the fragile Arctic to drill the last drops of oil. The great irony is that Arctic drilling is only made possible by the rapidly melting ice, itself a result of climate change. It’s a vicious circle: oil drilling in the Arctic offshore means new carbon emissions, which lead to melting ice, which open up the region to reckless companies like Shell. Added to this are the massive risk of oil spills and a lost opportunity to redirect investment into green energy. It’s now absolutely clear that Shell has no intention of making renewable energy a major part of its long-term strategy.
Oil exploration in the Arctic also poses huge risks to the four million people and amazing animals who live there. While Shell confidently tells us that it has «made numerous plans for dealing with oil in ice», the company also admits that the technical and environmental challenges of oil exploration in the Arctic «are immense». Specialists believe that «there is really no solution or method today that we’re aware of that can actually recover spilt oil from the Arctic». Shell senses a clear opportunity in Alaska, arguing that «much like landing on the moon, it doesn’t hurt to be first.»