Three weeks ago, we woke up to the news of Shell leaving the Arctic. I personally woke up and googled ‘Shell Arctic’ first thing in the morning. We knew that it was the last day of the drilling window. We knew that Shell had tried to extend its deadline and got a NO for an answer. We knew Shell was going to be wrapping up and leaving soon – but this?
(Source: Guardian 28th September 2015, Shell abandons Alaska Arctic drilling)
The internet was exploding with happiness. We did it! More than 7 million of us together did it!
Shell had been playing a high roller game of poker with bad cards. Too bad for Shell, people read that poker face. Failure to uphold safety standards, constant disregard for wildlife, a hypocritical stance on actions to stop climate change. Year after year, Shell kept raising the stakes and people kept matching. Finally, Shell folded!
The Shell bosses can frame it however they like but they can’t deny they were impacted by a spotlight on their every move and failure; the millions of ordinary people taking extraordinary actions to save the Arctic; or the reputational damage we caused. 5 ways that people power helped defeat Shell
We should all take a breather and maybe hit the dance floor to congratulate ourselves on this win!
Now, you might be wondering right now, “have I saved the Arctic?”
Well! Not yet, we’ve only just begun!
There’s still a long road ahead to achieve permanent protection for the whole Arctic. Here are 3 things you can do now to help:
1. Though we have pushed world’s second largest oil company out of the Arctic, oil giants and the rest of the fossil fuel industry are joining hands to influence the global climate talks being held in Paris at the end of this year. Their intention is not to keep the planet safe but make sure they stay in business, proposing false solutions that distract from real commitments. As long as the fossil fuel industry gets its way, sensitive and pristine biodiverse areas like Arctic will not be safe.
If you can be in London, join the climate march being organised by the climate coalition that demands that political leaders put an end to the age of fossil fuels. (Other marches are happening all over the globe.)
2. Shell is out for the time being but other oil companies could still have their eyes on the Arctic. This time, let’s not wait till another oil giant like Shell puts together a drill fleet. Be proactive and share the story of #PeopleVsShell to send a strong message to all oil companies planning to drill in the Arctic in the future: wherever they go, we’ll follow.
3. The three year-long campaign to get Shell out of the Arctic was only possibly because of YOU. It was millions of YOU contributing to the campaign in every way possible. Your contribution made this victory possible. The viral Lego video, the Shard climb, the rig stopping and even the websites and pages you visited to engage with and join in the campaign. Click on the links below to contribute to a strong and safe Arctic. #SaveTheArctic