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European Parliament agrees to protect the Arctic

This news post is about 10 years old

The European Parliament has backed calls for greater protection of the Arctic.

A resolution passed in the European Parliament to promote the protection of the Arctic environment has been hailed as a massive step-forward by Greenpeace.

The international environmental group's Save the Arctic campaign was launched in 2012 and has seen over 2.5 million people sign a petition supporting its calls for a ban on oil drilling and industrial fishing in the polar region.

Our concerns have made it onto the agenda of one of the most powerful political bodies in the world - that’s pretty amazing

MEPs in Brussels have now backed calls for a conservation area in the waters around the North Pole. They also stressed the need for an agreement in the Arctic Council to prevent pollution from drilling and to support a ban on industrial fishing.

Fran Grobke of Greenpeace said the resolution was “huge" and "a massive step forward” for the campaign.

“I’m not breaking out the party hats just yet – it’s still early days for this resolution and as with all political processes, a lot still needs to happen before we see our goal become a reality,” he added.

“But let’s take a moment to think about how far we’ve come. Just two years ago, nobody was demanding a protected sanctuary around the North Pole. Since then, we’ve grown into a five million strong movement. We’ve taken part in peaceful protests, signed petitions and joined forces in hundreds of ways to challenge Shell, Gazprom and other Arctic oil drillers everywhere they go.

“And today, our concerns have made it onto the agenda of one of the most powerful political bodies in the world. That’s pretty amazing.”