Sunday, 28 October 2012

Norway Foreign Minister on Arctic exploitation

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/interview-norway-s-foreign-minister-espen-barth-eide-on-arctic-drilling-a-863558.html

I really hope that the translation process has made this guy seem more hard core than he is. He flatly denies the special status of the Arctic in environmental terms and pays lip service to the need to manage it carefully if we are to avoid complete global melt down.

Here are some of his more controversial statements:

"The exploitation of Arctic resources will happen. It has always been our key policy to make sure that the rules are clear, both on who owns what and on how to exploit resources. The Arctic is not special in legal terms; it is just an ocean. The area is of course ecologically vulnerable. But it is possible to have responsible drilling."

"whilst the Antarctic is a continent, the Arctic is an ocean. And it is governed by the law of the sea. It is an area of opportunity."

I can't say I'm reassured. If the Arctic is not special in legal terms then we should probably do something about making it so rather than allowing it to be casually taken over by corporate interests.  

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