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The Antarctic Bill is presented as a Private Member’s Bill by Neil Carmichael MP. It was considered in Committee on 21 November 2012 and is due for its Report Stage and Third Reading on 18 January 2013. The Bill has Government support and follows from a draft Bill consulted on by the previous Government in 2009. It will be reported without amendment.

The Bill implements the ‘Liability Annex’ to the Antarctic Treaty’s Environmental Protocol and sets out measures to reduce the risks of environmental emergencies in Antarctica. It also makes a number of amendments to the Antarctic Act 1994 to give additional protection to the Antarctic environment.

Library Research Paper 12/63 was prepared for the Commons Second Reading and provides analysis of the key clauses and relevant background. This note sets out the issues discussed in Committee. These included: the timing of the enactment of the provisions relating to the liability annex, compatibility with existing shipping liability provisions, and the wider issue of the future of the British Antarctic Survey.


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