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Comments on the Climate change and increased dialogue

Press release, November 6, 2014

By Hjalmar Dahl, ICC Greenland President

The course is set! We are moving towards four degrees of global warming. But the UN Climate Panel and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has retained some optimism if the states are united in a legally binding agreement at next year’s COP 21 in Paris. This was amongst others the signal from the UN Climate Meeting in Copenhagen.

Our nature is disturbed

The big fuss about climate change is real, because it is highly disruptive to the nature, environment, society and everything else that affects us here in Greenland. Animals and plants both on land and in the sea, and consequently the entire Arctic ecosystem are threatened because neither animals nor plants are able to adjust to the changing climatic conditions so fast. Another consequence is the threat of increased immigration of alien species in the Arctic ecosystem. Even our national symbol the polar bear may turn out to be endangered because the sea ice is disappearing at an alarming rate.

Potential and scary impacts

The Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) has for many years tried to make the international community aware of the Arctic disaster lurking just behind the developed countries' CO2 celebration. But again and yet again we were first heard as climate change realities reached the industrialized countries' own front doors in the form of extreme weather conditions and increasing risks of global elevated sea levels, drought in other parts of the world, and then any other abomination that follows including diseases, homelessness and possible armed conflicts.

In the Arctic Council and its many sub-committees, the ICC has always been an active player in mapping the Arctic realities and contributed to find solutions. This does not imply that the Arctic should be a nature reserve, but that solutions, which should also include growth, happens at acceptable conditions and on a sustainable basis.

Important to have dialogue and information

In the ICC we hope that the COP 21 in Paris will be a success and be the place where the legal binding agreements will be reached. It is not only we in the Arctic that have something to fear if the states again fail to come to an agreement.

But meanwhile, the ICC would like to urge the Danish Government and the Greenlandic Self-Government to enter into a closer dialogue on different adaptation actions, among others for the fisheries, since changes in fishing conditions are already noticed. Furthermore, it would be obvious to cooperate on the development of infrastructure to encourage the economic development of our country. A very special problem, however, is that our nature is our food, and therefore there is a need for a special effort in this area. ICC proposes an extensive awareness campaign about climate change changes in our ecosystem, and thus changes in the access to living resources and ultimately, what kind of implications it may have for our health, etc.