Arctic Council focuses on preventing pollution

On 17 October 2017, the Arctic Council convened to discuss pollution in the region and the importance of international cooperation in emission reduction.  

As the Arctic region is warming at twice the rate of the global average, environmental protection and scientific cooperation have been key issues for the Arctic states. The main focus of the meeting was pollution; the implementation of the Arctic Council’s “Framework for Action on Enhanced Black Carbon and Methane Emissions Reductions” was discussed as a much needed addition to the Paris Climate Agreement. A special session was also hosted, where states with observer status to the Arctic Council were invited to present their activities in pollution prevention. The Arctic Council generally focuses on environmental and scientific issues with little discussion around the increasing militarization of the region, which could be detrimental to further cooperation in the future. However, the collaboration between Arctic states reinforces the importance of cooperation on environmental issues between stakeholders; the Arctic environment is drastically affected by actions taken in distant regions and may be reliant on pollution reduction in the rest of the EU in order to effectively combat environmental damage in the region.

About author: Allison Bushue

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