The world’s oceans will be transformed by the development of a new type of oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico that would be the world’s first offshore drilling platform and could have a significant impact on the ocean’s carbon stocks, according to a report from the International Commission on Climate Change.
The proposal, which was revealed this week by the commission, would see an array of platforms – some smaller than the 1.8 billion barrels of oil the company is currently drilling – that would allow the company to tap into the ocean floor and tap into deep waters for oil and gas.
“This new platform could be an essential component of our global strategy to mitigate climate change,” said IFC Chairman John Bates in a statement.
The platform would allow oil and natural gas companies to tap the vast resources of the Gulf, and would help to provide stability for the oceanic ecosystem, Bates said.
The report, released this week, said the project, which could cost between $10 billion and $50 billion, could help the world reduce carbon emissions by 20 per cent to 30 per cent over the next 25 years.
The report said the platform could help create the world, and the seas, of clean energy by harnessing the “sustainability” of the oceans and seas.
It would also help reduce pollution from ships and the industries they depend on, and help to combat global warming, the report said.
“The IFC believes that the platform would be a transformative tool that would enhance and sustain the global marine ecosystem by providing a source of stability for oceanic life, providing a reliable, sustainable source of energy for the global economy, and improving marine health and marine health impacts,” the report concluded.
In addition to the platforms, the project would include a number of other marine infrastructure projects, including marine protected areas, deep water ports, marine research stations and ports, and a research vessel, according the report.
As part of its exploration, the company also said it would “invest in the development and use of renewable energy sources to support the marine ecosystem.”
Bates said the IFC was also looking at other ways to make the oceans more resilient to climate change.
“Our commitment to the oceans will continue to be rooted in our desire to protect them and their vital ecosystems for future generations,” Bates said in a prepared statement.
“We are committed to a new paradigm of energy, which includes clean, affordable energy, with the full inclusion of communities and wildlife.”
“It is my strong belief that the ocean will not be left behind as the planet struggles to address the effects of climate change and other threats,” Bates added.
While the platform has not yet been formally approved, the IUCN said it is in the “final stages of environmental review” and that it is “well under way.”