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Oil Spill Prevention and Black Carbon Emissions Demand the Attention of Arctic Council

Newly strengthened group shoulders stewardship responsibilities
May 11, 2011
Nuuk, Greenland —

U.S. State Department Secretary Hillary Clinton will make oil spill response a key issue at the Arctic Council meeting on Thursday. Earthjustice attorneys who have expertise in the fields of offshore oil spill prevention and response, climate change and short-lived forcers like black carbon are available for comment on the issues facing the Council at the summit.

The Two Most Important Topics Facing The Arctic Council

Black Carbon: “The newly strengthened Arctic Council now needs to show leadership on the critical issue of short-lived global warming pollutants like black carbon and facilitate fast action to reduce emissions of these pollutants to slow warming and melting in the Arctic—perhaps the most urgent issue of our time,” said Earthjustice attorney Erika Rosenthal, attending the summit.

Oil Spill Prevention & Response: “The Arctic Council should address oil spill prevention first and foremost,” said Earthjustice attorney Holly Harris. “The Arctic's nine-month ice season means a catastrophic oil spill could rage out of control until the spring melt, allowing oil to travel hundreds of miles over the winter. The sheer complexity of Arctic spill prevention and response demands international attention and action on spill prevention as well as response, aimed at protecting the Arctic from the devastating effects of an oil spill.”

Addressing the outcome of the Arctic Council summit, Earthjustice strategic advisor Buck Parker said, “The Arctic Council countries have told the rest of the world that they can manage the Arctic environment. They now shoulder the stewardship responsibility to take meaningful actions to protect the Arctic from oil development and climate change.”

Contacts

Erika Rosenthal, Earthjustice, (415) 812-2055 (Mobile), (+ 299) 32 10 29 (Nuuk) erosenthal@earthjustice.org

Buck Parker, Earthjustice, (510) 550-6772, bparker@earthjustice.org

Kari Birdseye, Earthjustice, (510) 550-6798, kbirdseye@earthjustice.org

About Earthjustice

Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.