Themed “Towards the 1.5°C climate goal – Perspectives from the Polar Regions” the EU-PolarNet Townhall Event’s objective, which was held on 27th September 2016 in the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences in Brussels, was to explore how future polar research projects can contribute to limiting global warming to a worldwide average of 1.5°C – while bringing tangible benefits to the European society. To consider the wide range of interests and needs, EU-PolarNet brought together polar science experts with policy makers, industry and NGO representatives, as well as local and indigenous communities. In total around 110 people participated at this full-day event.

Keynote addresses and high-level expert panels will set the scene for thought-provoking discussions focussed on what European society needs from polar research and what Europe’s priorities for polar research should be. 

Keynote speakers:

  • João Aguiar Machado, Director-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries
  • Paolo Ruti, Chief World Weather Research Division, World Meteorological Organisation
  • Thomas Stocker, Co-Chair of Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 5th Assessment Report 2008-2015


Meeting Report

Conference Statement

Opening Video

Opening Talk and Keynotes

Morning Panel: "The 1,5°C climate target - What does the European society need from polar research?"

Chair: Björn Dahlbäck, Swedish Polar Research Secretariat

  • Jannie Staffansson, Saami Council
  • Peter Gibbs, BBC
  • Valérie Masson-Delmotte, IPCC WG1
  • Peter Sköld, IASSA
  • Tero Vauraste, Arctia Shipping
  • Tom Armstrong, Madison River Group

Morning Panel

Afternoon Panel: "European priorities for polar research"

Chair: Tom Armstrong, Madison River Group

  • Jane Francis, British Antarctic Survey
  • Marcus Carson, Stockholm Environment Institute
  • Christine Valentin, World Ocean Council
  • Attilio Gambardella, European Commission, DG RTD
  • Maaike Vancauvenberghe, European Polar Board
  • Carlo Barbante, National Research Council Italy, EU-PolarNet

Afternoon keynote and panel

Conference Statement