background image

The remarkable story of how Yemen’s oil tanker disaster was averted by crowdfunding

author image

By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Guardian or enjoy below

🗞️ Driving the news: In 2015, amid Yemen's civil war, the FSO Safer oil tanker in the Red Sea, laden with 1.1m barrels of oil, posed a grave environmental threat
• This prompted negotiations between the Houthi rebels, the Saudi-backed government, and the UN, leading to a unique crowdfunding effort, even drawing support from U.S. schoolchildren

🔭 The context: The FSO Safer, floating in the Red Sea since 1988, once played a pivotal role in Yemen's oil industry, accounting for 63% of government revenue at its peak
• But when civil war erupted in 2014, it was abandoned with its cargo, setting the stage for potential disaster when leaks threatened its integrity in 2020

🌎 Why it matters for the planet: If the FSO Safer had sunk or exploded, the ensuing oil spill could have wreaked environmental havoc, saturating coastlines of Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and North Africa, harming mangroves, coral reefs, fisheries, and poisoning desalination plants

⏭️ What's next: The rescued oil will be stored temporarily, with the subsequent profits from its sale being carefully deliberated
• The FSO Safer will likely be scrapped and recycled

💬 One quote: “The FSO Safer has been hanging over our heads like a ticking timebomb since 2015” (Ghiwa Nakat, executive director of Greenpeace for the Middle East and North Africa)

📈 One stat: The potential disaster of the FSO Safer would have involved four times more oil than what was spilled by the Exxon Valdez off Alaska in 1989
• Furthermore, through a combination of crowdfunding and contributions, a total of $121m was raised to handle the crisis, with the UN’s emergency humanitarian fund closing the final $20m gap

Click for more news covering the latest on social responsibility

Did you enjoy this illuminem voice? Support us by sharing this article!
author photo

About the author

illuminem's editorial team - providing you with concise summaries of the most important sustainability news of the day.

Follow us on Linkedin, Twitter​ & Instagram

Other illuminem Voices

Related Posts

You cannot miss it!

Weekly. Free. Your Top 10 Sustainability & Energy Posts.

You can unsubscribe at any time (read our privacy policy)