Climate change will be at the heart of matters when MPs from the five Nordic countries, Canada, Russia, the USA and the European Parliament meet online with Arctic indigenous peoples and a number of observers for a digital Arctic conference on 13th and 14th April.
Instead of the conference beeing held in Tromsø, northern Norway, as planned, the Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region conference is now digital.
“Climate change hits the Arctic region first and hard. Time is running out to implement the Paris Agreement’s emission targets to reduce global warming. The Arctic countries must take the lead in the run-up to COP26,” says Eirik Sivertsen, Chair of the Storting’s Delegation for Arctic Parliamentary Cooperation, in a press release.
Sivertsen is expecting fresh initiatives to cut emissions when governments meet in Reykjavik next month for the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting.
Youngsters are moving away
One of the biggest challenges in the North is that young people are leaving the region. This is another important item on the agenda.
“To reverse the trend, we need to include our young people in the discussion about what to do. This is why we’ve invited youth representatives to several of the conference’s sessions,” adds Sivertsen.
In addition to climate and population, collaboration in the health sector in the light of COVID-19, and business development in the North will be important topics at the conference. The conference adopts a conference statement, which is sent to the governments and parliaments in the Arctic states and the EU, as well as to the Arctic Council.
About the Arctic cooperation
The Arctic is an area that is marked by efficient international cooperation. Included here is the work of the Arctic Council and the Arctic parliamentary cooperation. The MPs work closely with their governmental counterparts in the Arctic Council. This cooperation was initiated in 1993, though the Storting did not set up a permanent Arctic delegation until 2009.
The conference will be livestreamed on the Storting’s YouTube channel and The President of the Storting Tone Wilhelmsen Trøen will open the conference.