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Debates
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 - Strasbourg Revised edition

EU strategy for the Arctic (debate)
MPphoto
 

  Ivo Belet (PPE). - Madam President, as rapporteur in the Committee on Industry, Research and Industry I would like to focus on the specific issue of the search for oil and gas in the Arctic region, which has already been mentioned here.

We have all followed the endeavours of Shell in Alaska that have clearly shown that operations in the Arctic are indeed extremely difficult and dangerous for mankind, and for nature of course. Many in this House have since called for a moratorium on oil drilling in the Arctic waters.

We all know, apart from the special case of Greenland of course, that the EU does not have any Arctic waters. However, Commissioner, in the new draft legislation on offshore oil and gas operations that is scheduled for approval here in this House next month, we have introduced a clear obligation for drilling companies to demonstrate that they can effectively respond to oil spills and that they also have to limit their operations when they cannot respond. That is a real legislative obligation that is future-proof and above all it applies a fortiori to potential off-shore drills in the Arctic.

We are counting on you, Commissioner, to support and wholeheartedly spread this legal instrument within the Arctic Council, hopefully as a soon-to-be permanent observing member, and especially in your international role as a Commissioner.

 
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