Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Actress Lucy Lawless Joins Greenpeace Protest Against Arctic Drilling

Popular
Will Rose / Greenpeace

Eleven peaceful activists from the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise have taken to the water in inflatable boats with handheld banners to oppose the Statoil Songa Enabler oil rig, 275 km North off the Norwegian coast, in the Arctic Barents sea.

The banners say: "People Vs. Arctic Oil" and are directed at Statoil and the Norwegian government, which has opened a new, aggressive search for oil in the waters of the Barents Sea.


Climate change survivor and activist Joanna Sustento from the Philippines, and actress and activist Lucy Lawless from New Zealand, are among the 19 nationalities who have traveled to the high Northern waters onboard the Arctic Sunrise. Sustento wants the Norwegian government to take responsibility for its climate commitments and development of a new oil frontier in the Arctic. She lost her entire family, except for her brother, to Super-typhoon Haiyan in 2013 which left large parts of her hometown, Tacloban, in ruins.

"It is hard for me to grasp and accept that a government like Norway's is opening up new Arctic oil drilling, knowing full well it will put families and homes in other parts of the world at risk. I'm here in the Arctic to see this irresponsibility with my own eyes; share my story about the human consequences of climate change; and call on the Norwegian government to put a stop to this dangerous search for new oil," said Sustento.

Activist Joanna Sustento in the Barents Sea.Will Rose / Greenpeace

Just two weeks after signing the Paris climate agreement, the Norwegian Government awarded 13 oil companies 10 new licenses in a completely new area, for the first time in more than 20 years.

"It is scary to think that super-typhoons could become the new normal if governments like Norway's allow more oil drilling. I couldn't stop the typhoon that destroyed my home, but Norway could play a role in curbing the severity and frequency of these storms right now. It gives me hope to see that right now people are taking peaceful action for the climate all over the world and holding governments accountable," added Sustento.

Greenpeace and the Norwegian organization Nature and Youth, have also filed a lawsuit against the Norwegian government, arguing that the new oil licenses violate both the Paris climate agreement and paragraph 112 of the Norwegian Constitution, which commits the government "to safeguard the people's right to a clean and healthy environment for future generations."

More than 250,000 people have added their names to support the climate lawsuit, and these witness statements will be used to support the case in court.

Lucy Lawless in RHIB with Arctic Sunrise in the background.Greenpeace

"I can't stand by, doing nothing, when we know beyond a doubt that we can't burn a single barrel of oil from a new well if we are to avoid a climate catastrophe. I don't ever want to look my kids in the eye and explain why I didn't do all I could to protect them from climate change. It is beyond my understanding that the Norwegian government is giving Statoil a ticket to drill like mad at the expense of future generations," said Lawless.

The Statoil rig Songa Enabler is currently looking for new oil at the Gemini North license, and is expected to continue to the Korpfjell license later this summer. Both licenses were awarded in the 23rd licensing round that is subject of the court case filed by Greenpeace and Nature and Youth, scheduled for hearing on November 14. Statoil and the Norwegian government have decided to go ahead with the drillings despite the legal dispute.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Women walk from Santa Monica beach after a social media workout on the sand on May 12, 2020 in Santa Monica, California. Al Seib / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Independence Day weekend is a busy time for coastal communities as people flock to the beaches to soak up the sun during the summer holiday. This year is different. Some of the country's most popular beach destinations in Florida and California have decided to close their beaches to stop the surge in coronavirus cases.

Read More Show Less
Daily fireworks in many U.S. cities in recent weeks have no doubt been interfering with the sleep and peace of mind of thousands of veterans and others who suffer from PTSD. Flickr / CC by 2.0

By Arash Javanbakht

For some combat veterans, the Fourth of July is not a time to celebrate the independence of the country they love. Instead, the holiday is a terrifying ordeal. That's because the noise of fireworks – loud, sudden, and reminiscent of war – rocks their nervous system. Daily fireworks in many U.S. cities in recent weeks have no doubt been interfering with the sleep and peace of mind of thousands of veterans.

Read More Show Less
Koala populations across parts of Australia are on track to become extinct before 2050 unless "urgent government intervention" occurs. Mathias Appel / Flickr

Koala populations across parts of Australia are on track to become extinct before 2050 unless "urgent government intervention" occurs, warns a year-long inquiry into Australia's "most loved animal." The report published by the Parliament of New South Wales (NSW) paints a "stark and depressing snapshot" of koalas in Australia's southeastern state.

Read More Show Less
NASA is advancing tools like this supercomputer model that created this simulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to better understand what will happen to Earth's climate if the land and ocean can no longer absorb nearly half of all climate-warming CO2 emissions. NASA/GSFC

By Jeff Berardelli

For the past year, some of the most up-to-date computer models from the world's top climate modeling groups have been "running hot" – projecting that global warming may be even more extreme than earlier thought. Data from some of the model runs has been confounding scientists because it challenges decades of consistent projections.

Read More Show Less
A child stands in what is left of his house in Utuado, Puerto Rico, which was almost completely destroyed by Hurricane Maria, on Oct. 12, 2017. U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Jon-Paul Rios. Flickr, CC by 2.0
By Mark Hertsgaard and Kyle Pope

To hear many journalists tell it, the spring of 2020 has brought a series of extraordinary revelations. Look at what the nation has learned: That our health-care system was not remotely up to the challenge of a deadly pandemic. That our economic safety net was largely nonexistent. That our vulnerability to disease and death was directly tied to our race and where we live. That our political leadership sowed misinformation that left people dead. That systemic racism and the killing of Black people by police is undiminished, despite decades of protest and so many Black lives lost.
Read More Show Less
President Trump's claim last September that Hurricane Dorian was headed for Alabama's gulf coast was quickly refuted by employees at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). An independent investigation found that NOAA's chief violated the agency's ethics when he backed Trump's warning and doctored map that used a Sharpie to alter the storm's path, as EcoWatch reported.
Read More Show Less

Trending

African bush elephants in the Makgadikgadi Pans Game Reserve in Botswana on Nov. 22, 2016. Michael Jansen / Flickr

More than 350 elephants have died in Botswana since May, and no one knows why.

Read More Show Less