October 13, 2021

350.org reacts: European Union moves to ban drilling for fossil fuels in the Arctic

13 October, 2021. Brussels, Europe – Today the European Union announced a strong and unexpected move to end all oil, gas and coal exploitation in the Arctic, as part of Europe’s new strategy for the Polar region. This comes just weeks ahead of a global wave of protests demanding an end to fossil fuel finance and the UN climate talks in Glasgow, UK, where world leaders will need to agree to keep fossil fuels in the ground to achieve their target of limiting global heating to 1.5°C.


Clemence Dubois, Lead Campaigner in France at 350.org said:


“As the Arctic sea ice melts, previously unreachable reserves of oil and gas become targets of profit-hungry fossil fuel companies. French President Emmanuel Macron himself has warned that this headlong rush of melting Arctic ice “would kill us” (1)  but he refuses to give a clear answer regarding France’s financial support for a new mega fossil project orchestrated partly by energy company Total – Arctic LNG2”


Nick Bryer, Head of European Campaigns at 350.org said:


“This announcement is good news for the planet. We know that fossil fuels need to stay in the ground, and yet oil and gas companies are still investing huge sums of money to try to find ever more places to mine and drill – including in the world’s most precious and vulnerable ecosystems, such as the Arctic. The current energy crisis hitting Europe and other parts of the world is a further reminder that the era of blind dependency on fossil fuels needs to end now. The sooner we move to sustainable energy, the better.” 


This announcement comes on the heels of today’s release of the 2021 World Energy Outlook (2) by the International Energy Agency (IEA), which calls for an end to finance for fossil fuels.


Media contact


Jason Kirkpatrick, Europe Communications Specialist, +4915774246878, [email protected]



1. « Sous la pression écologiste, Emmanuel Macron repasse au vert », Le Monde, 6 août 2019.

2.  https://www.iea.org/reports/world-energy-outlook-2021