Stars from the worlds of music, film, TV and business including Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Richard Branson are today launching a campaign to save the Arctic.
Others such as Penelope Cruz, Robert Redford, One Direction, Alexandra Burke, Jarvis Cocker and Cilla Black are among dozens of famous names who are asking for a global sanctuary in the Arctic. They have joined forces with Greenpeace to demand that oil drilling and unsustainable fishing are banned in Arctic waters.
They are among the first one hundred names to be written on an Arctic Scroll, which is launched by Greenpeace today at the Rio Earth Summit. When a million others add their own names Greenpeace will embark on an expedition to plant it on the seabed at the North Pole, four kilometres beneath the ice. The spot will be marked by a Flag for the Future designed by the youth of the world.
Sir Paul McCartney said: “The Arctic is one of the most beautiful and last untouched regions on our planet, but now it’s under threat. Some countries and companies want to open it up to oil drilling and industrial fishing and do to the Arctic what they’ve done to the rest of our fragile planet. It seems madness that we are willing to go to the ends of the Earth to find the last drops of oil when our best scientific minds are telling us we need to get off fossil fuels to give our children a future. At some time, in some place, we
Others demanding that the uninhabited area around the North Pole is legally protected and made off-limits to polluters include Edward Norton, Woody Harrelson, Jude Law, John Hurt, Rita Ora, Thom Yorke, Tim Roth, Thandie Newton, Bruce Parry, Lawrence Dallaglio, explorer David de Rothschild and Pamela Anderson.
The huge expanse around the pole belongs to all of us because it is defined in international law as the high seas. But as temperatures rise and the ice melts the Arctic states – Russia, Canada, the US, Norway and Denmark – are making territorial claims on the seabed so they can open the door to oil companies.
Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo said: “The Arctic is coming under assault and needs people from around the world to stand up and demand action to protect it. A ban on offshore oil drilling and unsustainable fishing would be a huge victory against the forces ranged against this precious region and the four million people who live there. And a sanctuary in the uninhabited area around the pole would in a stroke stop the polluters colonising the top of the world without infringing on the rights of Indigenous communities.”
The campaign is formally launched today at the Rio Earth Summit at a press conference and as part of today’s launch, polar bears have been appearing in cities around the world. Anybody can add their name to the Arctic Scroll and have their name planted beneath the pole by visiting www.SaveTheArctic.org