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Permanently ban hydrocarbon extraction in Antarctica now

1,208 signed. Let’s get to 10K.

To meet the Paris Agreement targets of keeping global temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by 2050, 60% of proven hydrocarbon reserves must remain in the ground. To date, these “reserves” do not include the hydrocarbons in Antarctica where hydrocarbon-bearing sedimentary basins are well known.

Article 7 of the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (Madrid Protocol) bans all mineral resource activity in the Antarctic. While open-ended, the Protocol may be challenged after 2048, paving the way for future extraction opportunities and consequent international rivalries amongst the states present on the continent. While we may hope for a positive decision in 2048 not to seek access to Antarctic oil and gas thereafter, we are presently canalized into a pathway that may precisely allow this.

Climate change is causing disturbances in the chain of life in Antarctica, as weather patterns are becoming unpredictable · John Weller

Whereas any mineral exploitation poses a serious threat to the Antarctic environment and its associated ecosystems, the extraction for use of Antarctic hydrocarbons poses the additional threat of damage to the entire global ecosystem. Since the threat of hydrocarbons was not to the fore 30 years ago when the Protocol was adopted, there is now a compelling case for decoupling hydrocarbons from the general prohibition and agreeing to prohibit their extraction now.

Consultative Parties can secure a ban on Antarctic hydrocarbon extraction through a collectively agreed Measure at the ATCM in Berlin this year.
Antarctica is one of four internationally recognized Global Commons which, normatively speaking, are perceived as being held in common, or in trust, for both the present and future generations, and endowed with the capacity to provide public goods. · NASA
“Decarbonizing the global economy is a global imperative. Agreeing not to commence hydrocarbon extraction from the Antarctic now would signal serious intent in this regard.”

- Alan Hemmings

Agreeing now to ban on hydrocarbon extraction in the Antarctic would not only represent a revitalization of high-level diplomacy in favor of the peaceful management of this Global Commons but also a much-needed effort to halt our man-made planetary ecological crisis.

Leading Antarctic scientists, scholars and conservation organizations are coming together to advocate for action, but we need your help to protect Antarctica, and in turn our planet, for future generations.

Your voice matters. Add your name to the petition urging the Antarctic Treaty Party members to act now to ban hydrocarbon extraction in Antarctica and protect our last wilderness. We will deliver your signatures to them, which will show the outpour of public support for action to protect Antarctica.

You can also join us in the campaign to #SpeakUpForAntarcticaNow by sharing this critical effort on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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