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Wednesday, 10 April 2019 13:00

Plenary session of the International Arctic Forum held

Plenary session of the International Arctic Forum held

The plenary session of 5th International Arctic Forum ‘The Arctic: Territory of Dialogue’ has been hosted in Saint Petersburg. The theme of the sessions was ‘The Arctic: An Ocean of Opportunity’. The discussion was focused on the comprehensive development of Arctic territories, including the rational use of natural resources, environmental security, transport, protection of northern indigenous peoples’ interests and other aspects of sustainable growth in the Arctic region. President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö, President of the Republic of Iceland Guðni Thorlacius Jóhannesson, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Norway Erna Solberg and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Sweden Stefan Löfven took part in the discussion, Caspian Energy News (www.caspianenergy.net) reports with reference to the press office of the President of the Russian Federation.

In 2021, Russia will assume presidency of the Arctic Council. We invite all participants of the Council and other states to cooperate in the Arctic. The priorities of our presidency are vital for the Arctic development: promotion of sustainable technologies in all areas, including industry, transport and energy”, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin said during the forum.

“This year we are going to draft and adopt a new strategy for the development of the Russian Arctic up to 2035. It is to combine measures stipulated in our national projects and state programmes, the investment plans of infrastructure companies and programmes for developing Arctic regions and cities”, he added.

According to President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö, the main challenge about the Arctic is, of course, climate change. “The last year report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change showed that the Arctic is one of the most vulnerable systems on our planet. We must quickly cut new CO2 emissions. The Paris Agreement is an excellent ground for this, although we still need to expand our ambitions. In addition, we must remove old CO2 emissions from the air. Besides the CO2 challenge, there are other factors that influence climate change”, said Sauli Niinistö.

“The Arctic is a key priority of our foreign policy. The incumbent government of Iceland highly prioritises the Arctic issues and our chairmanship in the Arctic Council”, President of the Republic of Iceland Guðni Thorlacius Jóhannesson said.

According to Guðni Thorlacius Jóhannesson, Iceland supports the work of the Arctic Council, and an international scientific conference on the pollution of the Arctic and the Arctic Ocean with plastics to reduce ocean pollution will be hosted in April next year.

Speaking of climate and environmentally friendly technologies, Thorlacius Jóhannesson said: “We will focus on blue bioeconomy. This will enable to reduce contamination, strengthen economy and support the development of society. At the same time we will be able to emphasize the importance of cooperation in the Arctic region”.

Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Norway Erna Solberg expressed the opinion about a necessity to create a “green” future for the Arctic.

“It is important to develop and put in place new, modern, “green” technologies. “Green thinking” is a part of this decision, and, of course, it should be formed as a business opportunity. Our task is to protect the oceans and optimize their value. That is why I created a high-level group on a sustainable oceans economy, which brings together the leaders of 14 coastal states and a number of experts. Already in October Norway will host the 7th Ocean Conference. Thus, we want to emphasize the importance of ensuring sustainable development of the economy of the oceans and the rational use of the resources of the seas and coastal zones”, the head of government of Norway said.

“The Arctic does not only open up new opportunities, it also imposes a whole range of serious challenges,” Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Sweden Stefan Löfven said.

According to him, the reports of the Arctic Council state that the average annual air temperatures in 2014–2018 were higher than in any year since 1900, and in September the scope of sea ice has decreased by 75% since 1979.

“Now we are on the verge of a global transformation of our energy system, the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. Major transformations based on technology, innovation, create new opportunities and contribute to economic growth. I believe that the future is in the hands of those who adopt a new green economy, in the hands of those who invest in sustainable technologies, as well as energy systems based on renewable energy sources”, Stefan Löfven said.

More details:

http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/60235

http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/60250

Person in charge of the newsline: Olga Nagiyeva 

 

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