Paul McCartney supports campaign to save Arctic region
London, June 23 (ANI): Sir Paul McCartney, actor Robert Redford and boy band One Direction are among celebrities who are backing the Greenpeace campaign which plans to have the Arctic region declared a sanctuary by the United Nations.
The group aims for a million signatures on a petition calling for an end to oil exploration and unsustainable fishing, which will be planted on the sea bed, the BBC reported.
The move comes as a response to what the environment group regards as the "epic failure" of the Rio+20 summit.
The summit aimed to put the global economy on a more sustainable footing - enhancing economic wealth, especially for the poorest on earth, while protecting the environment.
But environment groups are bitterly disappointed that governments have chosen not to press forward on issues such as ending fossil fuel subsidies, enhancing energy efficiency and espousing the idea of a "green economy".
"The fightback starts here," executive director of Greenpeace International, Kumi Naidoo told the Guardian.
"The Arctic is coming under assault, and needs people from around the world to stand up and demand action to protect it.
"A ban on offshore oil drilling and unsustainable fishing would be a huge victory against the forces ranged against this precious region and the four million people who live there," Naidoo added.
Naidoo, who previously campaigned to end apartheid in his native South Africa, spoke on the fringes of the Rio+20 summit that Greenpeace was moving to a "war footing" as a result of the Rio outcome.
The first 100 signatories on the new petition include explorers, business leaders, actors and musicians.
Film director Pedro Almodovar and his sometime leading lady Penelope Cruz, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke, actor Javier Bardem and businessman Sir Richard Branson are on the list unveiled at Rio+20.
"It seems madness that we are willing to go to the ends of the earth to find the last drops of oil when our best scientific minds are telling us we need to get off fossil fuels to give our children a future," the former Beatle said.
"At some time, in some place, we need to take a stand. I believe that time is now and that place is the Arctic," he added.
The Arctic is warming up faster than almost any other part of the planet.
The area of ocean covered by sea ice each summer is shrinking. If current trends continue, it will set a new record low for the satellite era this year. (ANI)
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