European Union External Action

Arctic: Cooperation and innovation to tackle climate change key to future of region and planet

15/06/2017 - 17:30
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The arctic is a new gateway to the world, and innovative cooperation for its sustainable development is key to the future of the planet, High Representative Federica Mogherini said today in Oulu, Finland.

The Arctic "is not a frontier any longer, but a gateway for Europe and a crossroads between continents. It is a common good, and we have a common responsibility to preserve it – for its people and for the world," Mogherini said in her keynote address at the forum she co-hosted together with Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini and EU Commissioner for environment Karmenu Vella.

Viewed from the Arctic, the importance of the Paris agreement to combat climate change is clearly evident. With temperatures in the region rising fast, "in these lands, everyone knows that climate change is real", noted the High Representative. In view also of the security challenges melting polar ice creates around the world, the EU "will continue to support the Paris agreement and to work for its implementation – here in Europe and all around the world, building coalitions in support of global climate action."

Viewed from the Artic it is also clear that "economic development must go together with the preservation of the environment" and Mogherini welcomed how "innovative solutions are being tested [in the region] for cleaner energy, cold-climate technologies, but also for a more sustainable tourism."

The High Representative also noted that "innovation can be a matter of technologies, but also of governance" and pointed to international cooperation in the format of the Arctic Council and dialogue with indigenous people, private actors and civil society through the Arctic Stakeholder Forum as success stories.

Regional cooperation is more important than ever for the future of the region and the planet as a whole, and "must be preserved and expanded," Mogherini said. At the same time, "the European Union's Arctic policy has put dialogue with the indigenous people at its core", and the Arctic Stakeholder Forum is a means to ensure "the people of the Arctic have a say and contribute to shaping the next EU funding programmes".