The conference, which is entitled Melting Ice: Regional Dramas, Global Wake-Up Call, will discuss the impacts of melting ice in the Arctic and mountain areas worldwide. It is being arranged in connection with the ministerial meeting of the Arctic Council at the end of April.
The conference will bring together ministers, climate scientists and journalists, and will be an important step in preparations for the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen later this year. Foreign Minister Støre hopes that the conference will culminate in strongly worded input to Copenhagen.
Al Gore and Jonas Gahr Støre will host the conference, which will take place in the Norwegian polar city Tromsø on 28 April.
Melting ice in the Arctic will have serious impacts on sea levels and global warming. Photo: Jens Henrik Nybo / Innovation Norway
Front row seat
Climate change is faster and more visible in polar areas. Temperatures here are rising twice as fast as the global average.
In addition to being a warning sign to the rest of the world, developments in the Arctic are also having major impacts on sea levels and on global warming.
Melting ice in the world’s mountain areas will also have serious negative impacts. Many rivers depend on meltwater from mountains. Rivers from the mountain ranges in Central Asia alone play a key role in the livelihoods of 40% of the world’s population.
Norwegian chairmanship of the Arctic Council
The conference on melting ice is being arranged in connection with the biennial ministerial meeting of the Arctic Council. This is a forum for discussion between the Nordic countries, the US, Canada and Russia on how best to address the challenges in the Arctic.
Issues relating to access to resources and climate change have led to markedly increased interest in the High North in recent years. The Arctic Council’s work is also being followed with growing interest. Among the observers to the council are China, the UK, France and the European Commission.
The Arctic Council ministerial meeting in Tromsø on 29 April concludes the two and a half year Norwegian chairmanship. The meeting will culminate in a joint statement that sets out the Council’s work for the next two years, under Danish chairmanship.