THE ARCTIC IS THAWING DUE TO OIL EXPLOITATION AND THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT INCREASES

 

The Arctic is the area surrounding the North Pole of the Earth, with an approximate area of 15 million square kilometers, including eight different countries (Canada, Denmark, the United States, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Russia), which Instead of looking for solutions, they argue over dividing the terrain, which is not the ice but what is under it.

They see an opportunity for the extraction of crude oil and to open new maritime routes for the fishing industry.

In short, an opportunity to make money at the expense of the destruction and depletion of the so-called “last frontier.”

 

Huge reserves of gas and oil are found in the Arctic.

In this month of June 2024, one of the oil companies that does not cease its interest in extracting crude oil from the Arctic is the Anglo-Dutch giant Royal Dutch Shell, a company that heads the ranking of the largest companies in the world and that begins its ambitious oil exploitation project in the region without thinking about the damage it may cause worldwide.

 

 

EFFECTS OF OIL EXPLOITATION

The work that the oil company intends to carry out will weaken the Arctic just by breaking through the ice, but the consequences that an oil spill could cause in the ocean waters at those latitudes would be devastating, due to the great cost. what it will have, both economic and environmental The fauna present in the Arctic (polar bears, arctic foxes, walruses among others) will have to change their natural ecosystem, forcing them to change their diet and mating place. Even marine life would be affected by the decrease in algae in the frozen layer or phytoplankton on which they feed.

 

On its website, Shell defines itself as a company that “collaborates to satisfy the growing demand for energy, developing its activities in an economic, socially responsible and environmentally friendly manner.”

But reality has questioned this statement on many occasions.

In 2009 and 2021 Shell was declared the most polluting oil company in the world by Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, for being the one that generates the most greenhouse gases (GHG) for each barrel of oil produced.

Furthermore, it is worth noting the continuous damage it causes to the ecosystems where its facilities are located and the constant violation of human rights.

Parts of the planet like Nigeria have become places where Shell acts freely due to the lack of regulation and government corruption.

According to the World Wildlife Fund (WFF), more than 1.5 million tons of crude oil have been spilled in the Niger Delta in the last fifty years, during which time the area has been exploited.

 

It is good to note that the pollution continues in the Niger River Delta, the Anglo-Dutch multinational is accused of violating human rights according to the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), Earth Rights International (ERI) and other human rights lawyers. human rights in the areas where it operates.

If we go back to the 90s, members of the Ogoni ethnic group settled in the Niger Delta in the southeast of Nigeria, were victims of armed operations when they began protests against the continuous spills and pollution that the Shell oil company was causing in the area.

Their requests were that the daily discharges and illegal flaring of gas be stopped, that economic compensation be carried out for all the damage caused and that there be a distribution of the wealth generated with oil.

The Shell company, together with the Nigerian military regime, which supported the oil company, were the ones that murdered Ogoni members in retaliation for the protests, according to the Platformlondon organization.

The report “Counting the Cost Corporations and human rights abuses in the Niger Delta”.

The Anglo-Dutch multinational has a long history of cases of spills and pollution.

 

 

OIL SPILL IN THE UNITED KINGDOM

The spill of more than two hundred tons of fuel oil into the North Sea in August 2011, on a maritime platform about 180 kilometers off the Scottish coast, was the largest that has occurred in the United Kingdom since 2000. As in other cases of spills, the lack of transparency and the delay of two days in making the spill public has been denounced by the environmental group Greenpeace. Although drilling in the North Sea is considered an example of facility safety, the possibility of leaks is always present.

 

 

SOUTH AMERICA AFFECTED

Also in Brazil, indigenous people have been demanding for years that the oil company leave their lands since ethanol production is affecting them in a very negative way.

The sugar cane used to produce ethanol is grown in the territory of the Guaraní community, which sees how the chemicals used are affecting the health of the population and the environment.

 

 

NEXT STOP ANTARCTICA

The Arctic seems to have become a reference for exploitation, but the oil companies’ next objective is ANTARCTICA.

Along with a long history of environmental disasters behind them.

 

 

THE FARCE OF GIVING TOYS TO CHILDREN WITH OIL LETTERHEAD

Climate change is a huge threat to all children in the world, but Shell tried to appropriate the magic of Lego to hide its share of responsibility; taking advantage of the fact that children love their toys to seal their loyalty for life.

The relationship between the oil extraction multinational and Lego began with the signing of an agreement to include the oil company’s logo on the toy pieces, as part of “an image cleaning campaign” and “transmitting positive values such as those “Toys are contagious.”

 

“Shell is installed in children’s rooms to generate future consumers and followers of the brand,” Lego has confirmed that it will increase its joint promotion with the oil company in the coming years.

This represents a huge increase in Shell’s promotion since since its drilling program began, 16 million Lego packages have been sold or given away at service stations in 26 countries, which has meant an increase in revenue for the oil multinational. 7.5% in sales worldwide, according to data provided by the environmental organization Greenpeace.

Faced with this situation, environmental organizations have launched a campaign to collect signatures to prevent a possible spill in the Arctic, which would affect “incredible wildlife, such as polar bears, whales and walruses” and would be “almost impossible to remediate with devastating effects on the environment.”

 

 

BUT NOT EVERYTHING IS DARK LIKE OIL

Some companies are already working on a prototype of green oil, for example the company BalGreen was supervising the work of placing solar panels and measuring wind capture in the North Sea that will supply the oil bases with renewable energy by 80 % of your daily operations.

This reinforces the risks of high emissions per barrel that common oil bases have.

It would remain to apply and ensure transfers outside the refining processes, that logistics use zero-emission transport to obtain a higher % for the mitigation of global warming and climate change.

 

GREEN OIL IS POSSIBLE TO BE PART OF THE TRANSITION

 

 

 

AUTHOR:

DIEGO BALVERDE

ECONOMIST

EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK