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Celebrated UK green activist and Guardian columnist, George Monbiot, today argues that “This is embarrassing, but I've become a fossil fuel supporter”. He argues: “I find myself at odds with almost everyone, by deciding, at the worst possible moment, that in one respect at least our battle against climate change depends on neither nuclear power nor renewables, but on a fossil fuel”.

With the melting of the ice after eight months, the Anglo-Dutch oil giant is set to enter a crucial offshore construction phase in the development of its $20bn [£11.2bn] oil and gas programme. Wildlife campaigners say the price of the pipeline could be the extinction of a species of whale.

Campaigners, including WWF, are demanding that Shell abandon its plans to begin the work, claiming the company has failed to persuade an independent panel of scientists that its activities will not harm a critically-endangered population of western grey whales. The cetaceans are due to arrive in their breeding grounds when work

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