Posts Tagged ‘Grönland’

Arktis: Der Kampf um Rohstoffe hat längst begonnen

Samstag, Mai 14th, 2011

Battle for Arctic oil intensifies as US sends Clinton to polar summit

WikiLeak cables show fears that Arctic resources rivalry could lead to military conflict between Nato and Russia

By Terry Macalister

The US government has signalled a new determination to assert its role in Arctic oil and gas exploration by sending secretary of state Hillary Clinton and other ministers to a summit of the region’s powers for the first time.

Clinton and the US secretary of the interior, Ken Salazar, were both at the biennial meeting in the Greenland capital of Nuuk amid fears by environmentalists of a “carve up” of Arctic resources that could savage a pristine environment.

The political manoeuvres came as Britain’s Cairn Energy prepares to drill for oil off Greenland while Shell applies to explore for oil off Alaska and BP has done a deal to explore the Russian Arctic. They also came as cables were released by WikiLeaks showing American diplomats talking about the need to assert US influence over political and economic competitors such as China.

The WikiLeaks site published a dispatch from 2007 – numbered 12958 – detailing a conversation between US diplomats and the then Danish foreign minister, Per Stig Møller, in which they discuss delays in US ratification of a key maritime convention. “If you stay out,” Møller is quoted as telling the Americans, “then the rest of us will have more to carve up in the Arctic.”

Another cable details the lengths to which the US has been going to influence Greenland. “Our intensified outreach to the Greenlanders will encourage them to resist any false choice between the United States and Europe. It will also strengthen our relationship with Greenland vis-a-vis the Chinese, who have shown increasing interest in Greenland’s natural resource,” a US diplomat is said to have written.

Excitement about the commercial potential of the Arctic has escalated as ice has retreated, making access to oil, gold and uranium easier at a time when commodity prices have rocketed. The US Geological Survey reported in 2008 that up to a quarter of the world’s remaining reserves may lie under a melting ice cap.

Renewed interest by oil and mining companies has been accompanied by growing political and military activity but all the big states in the area, such as the US and Russia, have played down in public any speculation about a new cold war.

Greenpeace oil campaigner Ben Ayliffe said the latest revelations were extremely disturbing. “Instead of seeing the melting of the Arctic ice cap as a spur to action on climate change, the leaders of the Arctic nations are instead investing in military hardware to fight for the oil beneath it. They’re preparing to fight to extract the very fossil fuels that caused the melting in the first place. It’s like pouring gasoline on a fire.”

The WikiLeaks cables show how the scramble for resources in the Arctic is heightening military tension in the region, with Nato sources worried about the potential for armed conflict with Russia.

There is also concern that Russia may be manoeuvring to claim ownership over huge areas of the Arctic, with one senior Moscow source alleging that a Russian explorer’s submarine expedition to plant a flag on the seabed beneath the North Pole was ordered by Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party.

Canadian leaders have privately expressed disquiet over Nato’s mooted plans to use military force in the Arctic in the face of perceived Russian aggression.

The recently re-elected Canadian prime minister, Stephen Harper, is quoted by diplomats as saying that a Nato presence in the region would give non-Arctic members of the alliance too much influence in an area where “they don’t belong”.

The race for new resources has also worried indigenous people. Jimmy Stotts, president of the Inuit Circumpolar Council in Alaska, said he was not opposed to oil exploration as long as it was done safely. “We’re not convinced, at least in Alaska, that it’s sustainable so far, despite statements that are made by government or industry or others,” Stotts said. “We’re still waiting for somebody to prove to us that they can clean up an oil spill in the Arctic Ocean.”


(Quelle: The Guardian.)

Arktis: Finger weg! (KAMPAGNE)

Dienstag, Mai 10th, 2011

“Arctic: Moratorium Now!

The devastating BP spill off the Gulf of Mexico has awakened our collective consciousness to the serious risks of offshore drilling. Images of oil soaked wetlands, dying birds and animals and firsthand accounts of jobs and livelihoods lost are just the start of what will be long-lasting impacts of this environmental catastrophe.

With the discovery of 90 billion barrels of oil and 1,670 trillion cubic feet of natural gas under melting ice, the Arctic is increasingly being viewed as a final frontier for fossil fuel development.  More than 80 per cent of the oil and gas is found offshore.

Here are 5 reasons to support a moratorium on oil and gas developments in the Arctic:

● As seen with BP Oil in the Gulf of Mexico, there is no surefire way to guarantee against a massive oil spill.

● A spill will devastate the fragile Arctic ecosystem.

● Further Arctic oil and gas development and a spill stands to have devastating impacts on local Indigenous Peoples including on food security and cultural needs.

● Melting ice in the Arctic shouldn’t be seen as an opportunity for Big Oil to increase their profits with new projects – it is a serious warming signal of the climate crisis.

● A moratorium is a logical first step in a just transition to sustainable jobs, energy and an improved environment for everyone.

Arctic Coastal States told to Leave it in the Ground

In the lead up to the 7th Arctic Council meeting in Nuuk, Greenland May 12, the Council of Canadians coordinated an open letter sent by organizations in six Arctic Coastal states – Canada, U.S., Russia, Greenland, Denmark and Norway – demanding a moratorium on offshore drilling in the Arctic.

With the Arctic increasingly being seen as a final frontier for fossil fuel development, the open letter affirms international unity around concerns with, and opposition to the pursuit of offshore drilling. The letter, received by Foreign Ministers, encourages the Arctic Council to advise against offshore drilling and engage in a discussion exploring alternative, viable opportunities for sustainable economic development. It highlights the unacceptable risks of offshore drilling in Arctic waters and the need  for political leaders to start choosing to leave fossil fuels ‘in the ground’ in the face of a climate crisis.

You can read the open letter here.
You can read the press release here.

The signing organizations are: Avataq, Greenland, Friends of the Earth Denmark, Greenpeace Denmark, Friends of the Earth Norway, Greenpeace Norway, Kola Environmental Center, Russia, Council of Canadians, Canada, Greenpeace, Canada, Indigenous Environmental Network, Canada, Yukon Conservation Society, Canada, Alaska Inter-Tribal Council, U.S., Friends of the Earth U.S., Global Exchange, U.S., Indigenous Environmental Network, U.S., Pacific Environment, U.S., REDOIL Network, U.S.

FACT SHEET: Leave it in the Ground: No offshore drilling in the Arctic! October 2010

TAKE ACTION: Use our action alert to send an email demanding a moratorium on oil and gas exploration and drilling in the Arctic!

BLOG POSTS: Click here for arctic blog posts by Andrea Harden-Donahue, energy and climate justice campaigner, and here for posts by Brent Patterson, Director of Campaigns and Communications.

Letter to Foreign Ministers of Canada, Norway, Denmark, Russia and the United States ahead of the Arctic Summit in Chelsea, Québec, March 29, 2010. Council of Canadians; Indigenous Environmental Network; REDOIL.

PHOTOS: Council of Canadians’ photostream

The Council of Canadians together with the Indigenous Environmental Network and Greenpeace rallied just 20 metres from the road where Foreign Ministers passed to get to the Arctic Summit in Chelsea, Quebec on March 29, 2010.”


(Quelle: Council of Canadians.)

Arktis: Klimakatastrophe voraus!

Montag, Mai 2nd, 2011

“Artischer Rat: Forscher warnen vor dramatisch steigendem Meeresspiegel

Neue Alarmprognose von der Arktis: Das immer schneller schmelzende Festlandeis rund um den Nordpol beschleunigt den globalen Anstieg des Meeresspiegels massiv. Bis zum Jahr 2100 wird er um 0,9 bis 1,6 Meter höher sein als jetzt, meint der Arktische Rat.

Der Arktische Rat sagt einen dramatisch höheren und schnelleren Anstieg des globalen Meeresspiegels voraus als bisher angenommen. Wie die Kopenhagener Zeitung „Politiken‟ am Montag berichtete, warnt die Expertengruppe AMAP in einem noch unveröffentlichten Bericht vor einem durchschnittlichen Anstieg des Meeresspiegel von 0,9 bis 1,6 Meter bis zum Jahr 2100. Weltweit leben 150 Millionen Menschen auf einer Höhe von bis zu einem Meter über dem Meeresspiegel.

Bei der letzten großen Prognose zu dieser Frage hatte der Weltklimarat (IPCC) 2007 angenommen, dass die globale Klimaerwärmung zu einem um 0,19 bis 0,59 Meter höheren Meeresspiegel führt. In dem am Dienstag zur Veröffentlichung anstehenden AMAP-Report heißt es jetzt, dass vor allem das beschleunigte Abschmelzen der arktischen Gletscher und des grönländischen Inlandeises, zur unvermutet hohen Änderung des Meeresspiegels beitrage (…).”



(Quelle: Handelsblatt.)

Siehe auch:

Meeresspiegel steigt schneller und höher

Grönland: Rapide Eisschmelze

Freitag, Mai 21st, 2010

“Grönland hebt sich immer schneller

Entlastung durch schwindende Eismassen lassen Untergrund immer schneller ansteigen

Die Gletscher an Grönlands Küsten schmelzen so schnell, dass sich die darunterliegende Landmasse bereits messbar hebt. Auswertungen von GPS-Messungen belegen jetzt eine Hebungsrate von zwei Zentimetern pro Jahr – Tendenz steigend. Dieser jetzt in „Nature Geoscience‘ publizierte Anstieg des Untergrunds durch die zunehmende Gewichtsentlastung bestätigt die grönländische Eisschmelze, weckt aber auch Befürchtungen für deren Auswirkungen auf die Meeresspiegel (…).”


(Quelle: Scinexx.)