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Project information

Save the Arctic

No country owns the High Arctic. And it should stay that way. The melting Arctic is under threat from oil drilling, industrial fishing and territorial conflict. Together, we can save this beautiful region and declare the high Arctic a global sanctuary for all life on Earth.

Our campaign launched in June 2012 and will run until we secure a global sanctuary around the uninhabited area around the North Pole.

Charity information: Greenpeace Environmental Trust

Greenpeace Environmental Trust logo
  • Need


    Arctic sea ice has retreated dramatically in recent years and scientists say the North Pole could soon be ice free. This is devastating for the species that live there, and for all life on Earth. The ice reflects heat back into space, keeping our planet cool and regulating our weather. The melting ice is allowing a new Arctic oil rush and access for industrial-scale fishing fleets which could decimate marine life.


    Our campaign will mobilise millions of people from all walks of life to ensure that the UN declares the High Arctic a global sanctuary. We have done it before with World Park Antarctica. We can do it again. It will mean that the pristine High Arctic environment will be protected and the wider Arctic off limits to oil companies and industrial fishing fleets. Instead it will remain a place dedicated to scientific research, sustainable fishing and supporting local communities.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Secure a UN resolution to create a global commons around the North Pole


    » Build a community of millions of Arctic activists to demonstrate mass public support for a global sanctuary.
    » Document and raise awareness of the threats to the Arctic, working with scientists, world leaders, celebrities and youth groups.
    » Educate the investment community on the risks to oil projects in the Arctic to discourage investment.
    » Join forces with indigenous communities to stand up to oil drilling companies and protect their homes.

    What success will look like

    Success will be...By the end of 2013, a resolution will be discussed at UN level. Ultimately, the UN will create a global commons around the North Pole.

  • Impact


    By achieving a global sanctuary around the North Pole we will protect one of the last pristine habitats on the planet. The Arctic will be off limits to exploitation, and will carry on its vital job of regulating our climate. We will prevent the threat of oil spills, pollution, underwater noise, overfishing and habitat damage association with industrialisation of the region.


    Few people would disagree that we need to save the Arctic. However those who do will have billions of dollars ready to invest in oil drilling, mining and any other activity they can profit from. The risk is we struggle to find the funds to resource our campaign, although with the support of millions across the world we are confident we can stand up to the world’s most powerful companies and governments.


    We are building a special website full of videos and news stories for supporters. We will also report back regularly by post, including in our Impact Report, our Connect newsletter and campaign-specific updates. When our ships visit the UK, we invite our supporters aboard to meet crew.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £568,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £96,355 Campaign staff Salary costs for campaign staff working on this project
      £100,774 Communications and research Communication staff costs, website, reports, marketing and research, news, photo and video library
      £42,128 Mobilisation Getting the support of millions of arctic defenders
      £150,490 Marine costs Using our ships to raise awareness
      £122,639 Campaign operational costs Working with the Girl Guides, Indigenous communities and the investment community
      £55,614 Support costs Organisation and programme support, including finance, IT, facilities, HR

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Special appeal to regular supporters £241,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The Arctic is crowded with life. From phytoplankton in the chilly seas, to whales and beautiful polar bears, protecting its biodiversity is crucial. We also need to protect the area for the indigenous peoples who have made it their home for many generations .


    Quite simply, we are saving the Arctic for all life on Earth.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Greenpeace is the only organisation with enough experience, reach, clout and commitment to take on a campaign of this size and nature. We have over four decades of experience standing up to the world’s most powerful governments and corporations and a network of passionate members and active supporters to back up our campaign.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    John Sauven

    John is our Executive Director and is leading the campaign in the UK. He has over 20 years’ experience campaigning for Greenpeace.

    Charlie Kronick

    Charlie is our investment expert, and has worked at Greenpeace for over 15 years.

Vicious circle - narrated by John Hurt

At some time, in some place, we need to take a stand. I believe that time is now and that place is the Arctic.

Sir Paul McCartney