15 November 2009 - CLIMATE DEAL HAS TO BE REACHED IF WE WANT TO AVOID DANGEROUS ARCTIC MELTDOWN SAYS BRITISH AMBASSADOR TO NORWAY
UK Ambassador to Norway and UK Regional Arctic Adviser David Powell said yesterday (Saturday), in his address to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s Science and Technology Committee meeting in Edinburgh, that the Arctic is at a critical threshold as climate change leads to an uncertain future of global significance.
Climate change, the melting of the ice and the opening of new sailing routes is a driver of salient issues such as shipping, energy, fisheries, and governance that have security implications and the world needs to find a deal quickly “as we don’t have much time” to protect the fragile ecosystem said Amb. Powell. A deal should be reached at the climate-change
The melting of the ice and the rising of sea levels are only part of the consequences of the global warming. Other dramatic natural changes could take place and would have a repercussion not only in the Arctic but in the entire world as the melting of the ice could change the thermohaline circulation (change in ocean currents), and rising temperatures could increase ocean acidification (due to increased uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere) and result in the release of large volumes of methane hydrates (methane is locked in frozen tundra or soil; methane produces 21 times as much warming as CO2) with potentially catastrophic consequences for our planet.
Powell went on to explaining that the United Kingdom has an immediate interest in the Arctic due to its proximity; to the UK’s history of polar exploration; to the number of scientific projects in which the UK is involved and to the UK’s full support as observer State to the Arctic Council’s objectives of preserving Arctic as region of peace and stability.
The meeting of the Science and Technology Committee concluded with the adoption of a Report on Climate Change and Global Security. The report urges to step up global mitigation efforts and to agree on a much more robust and truly universal post-Kyoto framework. It stresses the importance of the Arctic Council which should remain the main platform to address issues on the
To read the full report, follow the link.
Meanwhile, the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) leaders failed to reach an agreement on curbing greenhouse gas emissions at the APEC Forum in
The NATO PA brings together some 257 parliamentarians from 28 NATO member states, delegates from 14 associate countries, four Regional Partner and Mediterranean associate member countries, the European Parliament and parliamentary observers from several other countries, including