Sir Richard Branson has called for a blanket ban on Arctic drilling in a new blog post.

“Drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic Ocean is unsafe and irresponsible,” he blogged. "Transitions to ways of using energy and resources that do less harm to people and the planet takes time and a lot of hard work. Many environmentalists know this all too well.

“If you’re going to achieve real progress you’ve got to balance the pros and cons of different solutions available today and then analyse, discuss and debate what the best options might be.

“However, in the case of drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic I think the best option is a clear one: don’t do it.

“No fossil fuel is green, but some are worse than others. Oil and gas will be around for a while whether we like it or not. But for me, the exploitation of this canary in the global warming coal mine, and the dangers to the people and local environments mean the risks are too high.

“With lots of work still to do to cut greenhouse gas emissions avoid the risks of climate change and ocean acidification, exploring these environments for oil feels like we’re kicking the climate system when it’s down.

“As an airline owner, lower oil prices can be good for business – until renewable jet fuels begin to successfully penetrate the market. But this is one step too far and the costs look set out outweigh any benefits. Drilling in the Arctic Ocean should be banned.”

To read Branson’s full blog, click here.

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