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Executive Summary for September 30th

We review the latest Arctic news, including cooperation among nations on Arctic science and the risks of not meeting the 2C target of the Paris climate agreement.

Published on Sep. 30, 2016 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

Cooperation Between Canada and Russia

Canada intends to cooperate with Russia in the Arctic despite their differences over Syria and the Ukraine, reported the Canadian Press.

At a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Arctic Council in Ottawa on Thursday, Pam Goldsmith-Jones, parliamentary secretary to foreign affairs minister Stéphane Dion, said the two countries would engage in talks scheduled for November to discuss areas of cooperation that would benefit both countries.

Canada and Russia occupy three-quarters of the landmass in the Arctic. Dion has said that Canada must re-engage with Russia because both countries share an interest in the North. But the government has yet to release a comprehensive Arctic strategy.

Nations Sign on to Collaborate on Arctic Science with Indigenous Knowledge

Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., science ministers, delegates and Indigenous peoples from 25 nations met to lay the groundwork for international cooperation on Arctic science.

The outcome of the ministerial meeting, which was widely reported, centered on a Joint Statement of Ministers. The signatories agreed to improve collaborative science in the Arctic to understand environmental and climate change in the region and its impacts, in particular identifying science challenges in the Arctic region and bolstering Arctic observations and data sharing.

The statement recognized the value of traditional and local knowledge in observation, monitoring, analysis and decision-making. More than 30 Arctic Indigenous and Alaska Native representatives attended the meeting.

Running Out of Time in the Arctic

Immediate action must be taken to mitigate the effects of climate change in the Arctic region, an international group of experts has stressed in a new white paper, reported CBC.

The report underscores the overwhelming temperature burden the Arctic faces even if nations successfully implement the Paris climate change agreement and limit global temperature rise to 2C (3.6F). That level of warming will raise Arctic temperatures by as much as 5C (9F), according to the paper, the result of a recent workshop at Columbia University.

To date, 191 countries have signed the Paris agreement and 61 have ratified it. The agreement will enter into force 30 days after at least 55 parties accounting for 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions have ratified the agreement.

Canada’s Inuit are calling on the climate ministers drafting Canada’s Climate Strategy to make sure that Inuit steer investments and planning in climate-resilient northern infrastructure, clean technology and energy independence.

“Climate change intensifies existing inequities such as access to education, quality housing, employment and adequate and nutritious food,” said Natan Obed, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami in a statement. “By addressing climate change in full partnership with Inuit, Canada can fulfill its responsibility to relieve some of these inequities while meeting Canada’s commitment to transition to a low-carbon economy.”

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