Russia puts a hold on Arctic drilling
WWF-Russia has long advocated for such a moratorium, collecting over 80 thousand signatures from supporters. The 10-year moratorium, says WWF, will allow Russia to redirect financial support for risky offshore Arctic development to less environmentally hazardous projects on land.
Offshore drilling in the Arctic is extremely perilous due to the Arctic’s extreme environmental conditions, including tumultuous seas, extreme cold and long periods of darkness. When coupled with the looming threats of climate change in the region, WWF advocates for keeping fossil fuels in the ground and focusing on a more stable energy future.
Read more at WWF-Russia's site.
"WWF welcomes the moratorium. It's a first, but very important step towards ensuring environmental security in the Arctic. We believe the 80,000 signatures from WWF supporters played a role in this decision.
Pausing the development of offshore fields will allow time to carefully prepare and implement preventive conservation measures in the region."
Alexey Knizhnikov, program manager for Environmental and Energy Policy Energy, WWF-Russia
"Russia’s decision comes at a time when our own government is poised to make important decisions about the future of the U.S. Arctic. The Obama administration can and must similarly show leadership in safeguarding our Arctic waters from the risky prospect of drilling."
Margaret Williams, managing director, WWF-US Arctic program