New Zealand actress Lucy Lawless has launched an ambitious plan to declare a global sanctuary in the Arctic.
She revealed the plan at a press conference at the UN Earth Summit in Rio this morning alongside entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson and Greenpeace international’s executive director Kumi Naidoo.
"I’ve seen a lot of frustrated and depressed people here," Lawless said.
"The wording on the UN doc was too wimpy on climate change. Our governments are under the thumb of big oil - well, I don’t accept that. On behalf of my children, I reject their inaction. And so should you."
One of the key steps of the plan is to gather a million signatures on a scroll, and place them in a pod on the sea floor, four thousand metres below the North Pole.
Lawless joins Sir Paul McCartney, Penelope Cruz, Robert Redford, Jude Law, boy band One Direction and dozens of other famous names in demanding that the uninhabited area around the North Pole be legally protected and made off-limits to polluters.
Other signatories include, Pedro Almodovar, Thom Yorke, Emily Blunt, Baaba Maal, Javier Bardem, Slumdog Millionaire star Dev Patel and some of China’s most famous musicians. The list includes nine Oscar winners, ten Golden Globe winners and five Grammy Award winners.
Though the region surrounding the Pole belongs to all of us because it’s defined in international law as the high seas, some Arctic states are making territorial claims on the seabed.
It's feared they will open the door to the oil giants.
Naidoo said the Arctic was "coming under assault" and needed "people from around the world to stand up and demand action to protect it".
"A ban on offshore oil drilling and unsustainable fishing would be a huge victory against the forces ranged against this precious region and the four million people who live there."
Anyone can add their name to the Arctic Scroll by visiting www.SaveTheArctic.org.
If they are one of the first million to do so, their name will be on the part of the scroll that gets planted on the seabed beneath the North Pole.