The Arctic is often referred to as the bellwether of global climate change. According to the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment and the most recent assessment from IPCC, the warming rate is twice that of the global average, with predictions of further increases leading to substantial loss of Arctic sea ice and large-scale thawing of the permafrost. The Arctic has also been a bellwether for the impact of long-range transboundary air pollution, both regarding human health and how pollutants affect wildlife. Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and heavy metals (e.g. mercury) are transported long distances through air and water, are deposited in the Arctic and bioaccumulate through the food chain. Some indigenous peoples have a high exposure to these pollutants, primarily through their diet. The goal of this project is to improve the effectiveness of EU environmental policies with respect to the Arctic region.Read more
New maps identifying 77 Areas of Ecologically or Biologically Significance (EBSAs) in the Arctic marine environment are now available through a recent project led by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Ecologic Institute. The report identifies 13 "Super EBSAs" which are of key importance because they meet many or all criteria developed under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).The report is available for download.Read more
There is growing interest in the idea of geoengineering, the purposeful and large-scale modification of the natural environment, especially since the article in Foreign Affairs "The Geoengineering Option" by David Victor and others. Jointly with the Foundation for the Good Governance of International Spaces, Ecologic Institute held this Transatlantic Luncheon in Washington DC on 22 April 2009. Guests of honour were Paul Berkman, Scott Polar Institute, University of Cambridge, and Ralph Czarnecki, Ecologic Institute.Read more
EU Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner and Diana Wallis, Member of European Parliament welcomed more than 120 experts from government and civil society worldwide to discuss "Transatlantic Policy Options for the Marine Arctic" at a conference in Brussels on 5 March 2009. High-level speakers from Europe and the U.S. presented their preferred policy options for addressing climate change in the Arctic with environmental experts arguing for governance structures that transcend national borders and are capable of protecting fragile Arctic ecosystems.