The conference started with words of welcome from Rector Stefán B. Sigurðsson, Professor Lassi Heininen and Professor Grétar Þór Eyþórsson.
But one of the highlights was the opening speech of Mr. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, president of Iceland.
He mentioned that now the eleven biggest economies in the world are now linked to the Arctic through the Arctic Council, amongst them the biggest Co2 emission countries in the world.
He also welcomed interest from Arctic outsiders due to their work on climate change and their resource knowledge on related issues.
He demonstrated that China sent an icebreaker across the Arctic in 2012, conducting scientific research, confirming severe consequences of climate change. Consequently the weather in China in January and February was one of the worst in recent years, directly impacted by the Arctic changes.
Keynote sessions will continue over the two-day conference.
Recording will be available after the conference.