Norway calls for increased capacity on adaptation to climate change

Heidi Sorensen. Photo: Bjørn H Stuedal.

Heidi Sorensen. Photo: Bjørn H Stuedal.

The Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC) plays a key-role in how to adapt to changing living conditions caused by climate change, and BEAC should be used much more effectively for environmental work, said State Secretary Heidi Sørensen at the opening of the Conference on Climate Change in the Barents Region.

A large group of distinguished experts mostly from Scandinavian and Russian research institutions presented their latest findings on developments related to a warming climate within a variety of fields such as agriculture, forestry, climatology, infrastructure, hydrology, health and the impact on living conditions for everyone living in the Barents Region – both indigenous and non-indigenous peoples.

The aim of the conference, that takes place in Vardø Sept.1-3, is to identify the most relevant areas of cooperation on mitigation and adaptation to climate change in the Barents Region in light of updated knowledge. The conference considers climate change and policy making/management as the two driving forces that together shape the development and future living conditions in the Barents Region.     

“We need to use BEAC for environmental work much more effectively than we have done so far. That counts in particular for fields related to climate change where we need to exchange data and expertise as well as views on policy making on how to adapt to changing environmental conditions,” said Ms. Heidi Sørensen, State Secretary at the Norwegian Ministry of Environment, in a press conference after opening the Conference on Climate Change in the Barents Region.

In her opening speech, Ms. Sørensen referred to scientific facts showing there is a trend towards ice free Arctic summers. Sørensen also stressed that it is necessary to stick to the 2-degree target on emissions. (A maximum of average +2 degrees Celsius until 2050)

“I hope this conference will give a solid basis for reviewing the policy in view of the recent changes. We need to make the policy more operational and give a basis for a real co-operation on climate changes in the Barents Region,” said Sørensen ending her speech.

The conference is a co-arrangement between the Norwegian Ministry of Environment as the present chair of the BEAC Working Group on Environment and CICERO – Center for International Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo.

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