Brussels, 26th September 2018. EU-PolarNet held its second policy briefing in Brussels. Themed “At the frontline of climate change: Key changes in the Polar Regions that call for European action” the event brought pressing polar issues to the European Parliament. During the two-hour long policy briefing EU-PolarNet presented its five polar white papers and fostered discussions on how European polar research and climate policies can contribute to the protection and sustainable development of the polar regions. The aim was to increase policy makers’ awareness on the far-reaching effects of climate-induced changes in the polar regions and to enhance the dialogue between polar stakeholders from various backgrounds.
The event was co-organised by the EP Intergroup on “Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development” and hosted by Christel Schaldemose, Member of the European Parliament and Chair of the Intergroup’s “Polar Regions” working group. Divided into a presentation session and an open panel discussion, Prof Antje Boetius, director of the Alfred Wegener Institute und EU-PolarNet coordinator, gave the opening keynote, addressing major changes in the Arctic and Antarctic. Subsequently Prof Antonio Quesada, Executive secretary of the Spanish Polar Committee, introduced the five EU-PolarNet white papers and outline the transdisciplinary approach the documents follow.
Building on the background information given in the presentations, six polar experts gave brief statements addressing polar issues related to their respective fields of expertise and engaged in a roundtable discussion moderated by Antje Boetius. The experts were:
- Terkel Petersen, Senior Expert at the European External Action Service
- Mininnguaq Kleist, Head of Greenland Representation to the EU
- Marie-Hélène Tusseau-Vuillemin, Scientific Director of the Environment, Geoscience and Astronomy Department at the French Ministry for Higher Education, Research and Innovation
- Nils Arne Johnson, Director Regional Business Development in Troms County Council, Norway
- Katarina Gårdfeldt, Director of the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat
- Jean-Louis Etienne, IUCN Ambassador for Polar regions and the Oceans