Operation Noah (ON) is calling on the oil company Total to publish the full extent of pollution from the Elgin Platform in the North Sea immediately. The Christian organisation also urged the UK government to state what action they will take in response to the leak.
ON described Total's statements to date – claiming that the environmental impacts of the leak are small - as “highly misleading”.
The charity said that methane is the main component of the gas leaking from the Elgin field. ON point out that methane is a highly potent greenhouse gas with a global warming potential 23 times that of carbon dioxide.
According to ON’s Chair, Isabel Carter, “If seven tons of gas an hour is leaking from the field (as reported) and it takes six months to bring this leak under control, the pollution could be equivalent to the annual carbon dioxide emissions from individuals in a city the size of St Albans”.
ON have two requests. They want Total to publish the full details of the pollution arising from the leak, including the immediate and long-term global warming impact of methane emissions, and to inform the public what action they will take to offset this.
And they want ministers to make an immediate statement about what action they will take. ON allege that the UK government has been “conspicuous in its silence” on the leak.
Mark Letcher, ON’s Vice-Chair, said: "If the government choose to ignore this leak, we will be in the absurd position where individuals, businesses, community groups and local authorities are working to cut emissions, while the fifth largest oil and gas company in the world is at liberty to emit vast quantity of pollution without check or sanction”.
Carter added, “We have unique responsibility as humans, made in God’s image, for the wellbeing of this fragile earth”.
Operation Noah is an ecumenical Christian charity concerned with “the growing threat of catastrophic climate change endangering God’s creation”.