We've stepped up our action in the waters off Shetland where - in addition to climbers Victor and Anais on the anchor chain of the Stena Carron – a custom-built survival pod has been brought into play. Two metres in diameter and weighing half a tonne, it's also been attached to the anchor chain of the Chevron-operated drilling ship which was due to leave for the Lagavulin oil field - but now isn't going anywhere.
Inside the pod will be a number of activists who were recently doing similar fine work on Cairn Energy's rig near Greenland. One of our pod people is Leila, a GP climate campaigner, and it happens to be her birthday – one she won't forget in a hurry, no doubt. We'll be getting updates from Leila and the pod team, as well as Victor and Anais on the anchor chain, so stay tuned.
Meanwhile, ministers are preparing to meet tomorrow at the OSPAR meeting in
Oslo Bergen, Norway. OSPAR is a organisation set up nearly twenty years ago to administer the Oslo and Paris conventions on protecting the marine environment of the north-east Atlantic. A proposal has been put on the table by Germany for a ban on new deep water drilling in the region.
That would include the UK, but we've heard that our government is sending a team to scupper any such moratorium. That’s right: not only is the government refusing a moratorium on deepwater drilling in our own waters, but it seems they’re also trying to make other countries adopt their dubious position as well.
The resolution our ministers are scrambling to stop recommends a “moratorium on certain new oil exploration activities in deep waters” in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe this summer. In light of what happened in the Gulf of Mexico this is a cynical move on the part of the government, so we're currently examining various legal avenues to stop new permits for deep water drilling being issued in the UK.
Oslo Bergen – and the pod – soon.