Friends of the Earth Europe calls on world leaders to act for the Arctic

11 May 2011

Friends of the Earth groups across Europe have called on world leaders to take serious action for the melting arctic.

With global temperatures increasing and melting sea ice, the area is under threat of becoming a victim of and contributor to climate change.

In the arctic the temperature is rising twice as fast in comparison to other areas, and local communities, ecosystems and the natural environment are struggling to cope with a rapidly changing climate.

In a statement published today Friends of the Earth groups call for swift action if the ecosystems of the Arctic are to be preserved for future generations.

The statement sets out measures that must be taken immediately and include the richest nations making a commitment to emission cuts of at least 40% by 2020 compared to 1990 levels.

Also needed is a precautionary approach to regional development and all economic activities in the Arctic, including a suspension of all oil and gas extraction in the Arctic. Acknowledgement and respect for the rights and welfare of indigenous communities is also crucial in the ongoing debate on how and by whom the Arctic should be governed.