A PARADISE UNDER THREAT
A marine area covering almost 60,000 square kilometres has been conceded to Greek and international oil companies for offshore oil exploration and drilling. This area includes famous islands such as Corfu, Kefalonia, Zakynthos and Crete.
Additionally, 17.000 square kilometres of land in Western Greece have been conceded for onshore oil exploration and drilling.
Oil spills would have catastrophic impacts on the Mediterranean
Oil exploration and drilling poses an unprecedented environmental threat with severe and irreversible impacts on:
Hydrocarbon exploration and drilling is a heavy industrial activity, incompatible with the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
The area conceded for oil exploration and drilling is home to rare and threatened species such as sperm whales, bottlenose dolphins, monk seals, loggerhead sea turtles and deep sea corals.
Limiting temperature increase to 1,5oC, as the Paris Agreement requires, is incompatible with new hydrocarbons projects.
Tourism and fisheries provide an income for hundreds of thousands of people in coastal communities. Their livelihoods depend on a thriving ecosystem.
The risk of oil spills
Exploration areas largely overlap with the Hellenic Trench, a marine area characterized by great depths reaching up to 5000 meters. Ultra-deep sea drilling in this area is an extremely dangerous activity, increasing the risk of an oil spill. Responding to oil spills in the open seas of the Ionian would be an extremely challenging task.
High risks, no returns
In 2017, this region attracted more than 8.5 million tourists, who contributed approximately 5 billion euros. Around 14% of the local population (73.800) is employed in tourism related activities. Oil spills and extensive pollution could destroy the touristic economy, wiping out billions of income and thousand of jobs in the affected areas.
The end of the oil age
The latest scientific findings and radical technological breakthroughs bring humankind closer to an oil-free future. Already, other Mediterranean countries, such as Spain, France and Croatia are banning or phasing out oil drilling in their seas. It is in Greece's interest to fight for a resilient climate, thriving seas and a clean energy system.