It’s a place of indescribable natural beauty.
It’s the Arctic home of three-quarters of the planet’s narwhal and a place where millions of seabirds arrive in summer to raise their young. It is part of the Last Ice Area, the one Arctic region expected to retain its summer sea ice until 2050.
And it’s finally protected.
Since mid-September, we have seen Royal Dutch Shell say they will do one thing, while behind the scenes, do the opposite. On September 21, 2020, one of the world’s largest oil producers confirmed they plan to cut as much as 40 per cent of their costs in oil and gas drilling to shift their focus to renewable energy. Meanwhile, Shell applied to consolidate 18 of its offshore oil leases in Alaska’s West Harrison Bay, in order to begin drilling in 2023.
Millions of years of evolution have prepared Arctic species, including polar bears and walrus, for life on sea ice. As the sea ice they depend upon disappears, polar bears have become a more common sight in Arctic communities, bringing them into greater conflict with people.