All at Sea
Environmental assessment warns of potential risks of oil and gas extraction

Protecting the world’s waters from pollution associated with offshore oil and gas exploration and production is not a global priority. While then-Russian President Dimitri Medvedev in 2010 suggested before a G20 meeting that world leaders hammer out an international “convention or several agreements” aimed at setting global environmental standards for offshore drilling, four years later only the G20 Global Marine Environment Protection Initiative website exists. A 2014 study by the Paris based Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations found that national laws regarding environmental protection in offshore drilling vary, and regional agreements covering various bodies of water exist but a global framework does not. For the Mediterranean region, an additional protocol to the 1976 Barcelona Convention for Protection against Pollution in the Mediterranean Sea specifically related to protecting the sea from oil and gas activities went into force in 2011, but Lebanon is not a signatory. Despite that, Lebanon commissioned a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) for offshore oil and gas activities that same year.

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