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Niinistö for enhanced climate change efforts

10 Oct 2018, 01:04 ( 7 Months ago) | updated: 10 Oct 2018, 11:22 ( 7 Months ago)

DF Report
President Sauli Niinistö was speaking at the inaugural session of at the Arctic Biodiversity Congress in Rovaniemi on Tuesday. Photo Arctic Biodiversity Congress / Mike Muzurakis.

President Sauli Niinistö on Tuesday emphasised speeding up efforts to achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Arctic Biodiversity Congress in Rovaniemi, the president also pointed out that the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published on Monday contains a very clear message to the policymakers.

“As we all know, the IPCC just yesterday (Monday) published its latest special report on global warming. It had a very clear message to policymakers. We urgently need to enhance and speed up our efforts to achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement,” said Niinistö.

He underscored the need for direct interaction with scientists to make the most advanced knowledge accessible and understandable to policymakers.

“This is particularly relevant for the Arctic. As the IPCC report points out, the Arctic region is one of the most vulnerable systems on our planet, if and when global warming continues. And on the other hand, the melting of the sea ice and other changes in the Arctic region accelerate climate change on the global scale. I have said this before: if we lose the Arctic, we lose the globe,” said the president.

The main focus of the Paris Agreement and the latest IPCC report is on reducing CO2 emissions, and rightly so.

“CO2 with its long-term impact is the biggest contributor to global warming. In cutting down those emissions, we all need to do more, and more quickly – as communities and as individuals,” said Niinistö.

He said the IPCC report also shows there are other factors that should be addressed at the same time.

Black carbon is particularly relevant for the fate of the Arctic sea ice. When black carbon falls on the white ice, it immediately accelerates the melting. But its absence will have an equally immediate impact to the contrary. Cutting down black carbon emissions is the quickest way to slow down the rapid changes now occurring in the Arctic.

“As a very concrete proposal, we would like to see the Arctic states, on the highest political level, commit to reducing black carbon emissions,” which he said requires, “The  Reducing flaring in oil and gas production, switching from heavy fuels to LNG in ship engines, upgrading old-fashioned power plants, and preventing wildfires.”

The four-day Arctic Biodiversity Congress that began on Tuesday consists of panel discussions, scientific seminars, and presentations on the most recent research findings, in which about 450 experts on Arctic affairs are taking part.