19th September 2016 – Press Release No. 01/16

Placing the 1.5 degree climate goal in pole position

Bremerhaven, 19 September 2016. The Horizon2020 funded Coordination and Support Action EU-PolarNet will host a multi-stakeholder discussion event in Brussels this September. Themed "Towards the 1.5°C climate goal - Perspectives from the Polar Regions" the event's objective is 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 brings together polar science experts with policy makers, industry and NGO representatives, as well as local and indigenous communities for this full-day event.

Research has increasingly become critical for elaborating climate related policies, including energy security, innovation, and sustainable economic growth. Polar research is no exception. Working in regions that have warmed twice as fast as the global average, polar scientists are at the forefront of understanding the future impacts of climate change - in the high latitudes and beyond. Not only are areas across the Arctic and parts of the Antarctic showcases of how entire ecosystems alter as temperatures increase and carbon dioxide concentrations rise. The changes in these regions are also vital for the entire global climate system - affecting sea level rise, weather patterns and ocean circulation.

In the pursuit of achieving the ambitious climate goal set out in the Paris Agreement - stating the need to "to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels" - polar science will need to play an active role. The question thus arises how Arctic and Antarctic research can support post COP21 mitigation efforts to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

To find possible answers the Horizon2020 Coordination and Support Action EU-PolarNet will be hosting a discussion event themed "Towards the 1.5°C climate goal - Perspectives from the Polar Regions" in September 2016 in Brussels. The objective of the event is to explore how future polar research projects can deliver tangible benefits for the European society - especially in regard to the 1.5°C climate goal.

Determining areas of future research interests, however, also calls for involving all those with a stake in the Arctic and Antarctic. The EU-PolarNet discussion event therefore aims at stimulating a dialogue between polar scientists, policy makers, industries, NGOs, as well as local and indigenous communities.

"One of EU-PolarNet's main objectives during its five year project live time is to develop an integrated European polar research programme, which is co-designed with all relevant stakeholders. The discussion event thus offers a great opportunity to bring various and differing interests and needs on the table and to identify those areas of research, which are of immediate relevance to society", states Nicole Biebow, EU-PolarNet's project manager.

The full-day event will take place in the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences in Brussels and will host 150 invited guests from a large range of nations and professional backgrounds. Keynote speakers are João Aguiar Machado, Director-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Paolo Ruti, Chief of the World Weather Research Division at the World Meteorological Organisation and Thomas Stocker, Co-Chair of Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 5th Assessment Report 2008-2015. Two high-level expert panels will further set the scene for thought-provoking discussions on polar research needs and their societal benefit.


Date: 27th September 2016

Location: Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Rue Vautier 29, 1000 Brussels

Media representatives can still register for the event. For registration or any inquiries regarding the event, please get in touch with Kristina Bär, email: kbaer@awi.de, phone: +49 (0) 471 4831-2139.

The event will be made available via live stream on the EU-PolarNet YouTube Channel. Questions and comments can be sent via Twitter using @EUPolarNet and the following hashtag: #EUPolarPriorities

Please find the full agenda here.

Press Contacts

Nicole Biebow

Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI)
Email: nicole.biebow@awi.de
Tel.: +49 0471 4831 1011

National Press Contacts