CIEL works to protect oceans, marine ecosystems, and local communities from the impacts of offshore oil and gas activities. The increasing presence of offshore oil and gas operations, including coastal infrastructure and deepwater drilling, subsea pipelines, massive tankers, and widespread waste disposal, is putting more pressure on the world’s already-stressed oceans.
Oceans are the final frontier of the global campaign to “Keep It In the Ground.” As the risks associated with fossil fuel extraction become ever more apparent, and as resistance from frontline communities on land grows, oil and gas companies are increasingly moving their operations to deeper and more remote waters. To have any chance of keeping global temperature increase below 1.5°C, all expansion of oil and gas extraction must cease immediately.
Offshore oil and gas operations are dangerous and difficult to monitor and manage. A single offshore project can put multiple countries, communities, and ecosystems at risk throughout its life cycle — from exploration and drilling to transport and waste disposal. The dangers of offshore activity extend beyond leaks and blowouts. Everyday operations cause lasting harm through routine contamination and disturbances to habitats and livelihoods. These adverse impacts pose a heightened threat in areas with limited capacity to oversee activities or respond to incidents.
In addition to oil and gas extraction in the oceans, companies are now setting their sights on the seabed as a place to stash their carbon dioxide waste, based on the flawed premise that we can continue using fossil fuels indefinitely if we just “manage” their emissions. Offshore CCS — injecting carbon dioxide under the seabed — is being pushed at a never-before-seen scale, yet it presents uncalculated risks and untested monitoring challenges.
By bringing together communities engaged in the fight against offshore oil and gas expansion in their respective corners of the globe, CIEL connects movements, develops shared legal strategies, facilitates cross-regional knowledge exchange, and builds collective campaigns to amplify individual efforts. Together with partners around the world, we seek to make oceans everywhere off-limits to oil and gas activities.