|The EU outlines its policy for the Arctic|
Other News | Written by Hjalti Þór Hreinsson | Tuesday, 03 July 2012
The European Commission and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy have today outlined the way forward for the EU's constructive engagement in the Arctic.
Summarised in three words, ''knowledge, responsibility, engagement'', the strategy adopted today contains a set of tangible actions that contribute to research and sustainable development in the region and promote environmentally friendly technologies that could be used for sustainable shipping and mining. It also underlines the EU's activities in the Arctic since 2008. For example, the EU has made a contribution of 20 million EUR per year in Arctic research over the last decade and has invested more than 1.14 billion EUR in the sustainable development of the region since 2007.
- Support of Arctic research under the Commission's proposed 80 billion EUR Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (see IP/11/1475);
- Contribution to search and rescue in the Arctic through the launch of the next-generation observation satellites (see IP/11/1477);
- Stepping up of actions to combat climate change;
- Use of EU's funding opportunities to maximise sustainable development in the Arctic for the benefit of local and indigenous communities;
- Promotion and development of environmentally friendly technologies that could be used by extractive industries in the Arctic;
- Enhancing of bilateral dialogue on Arctic issues with Canada, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation and the United States, including by applying for permanent observer status in the Arctic Council;
- Stepping up of efforts to hold regular dialogue with representatives of indigenous peoples organisations on EU policies and programmes;
In total, the Communication contains 28 action points, the highlights are:
- Climate change: the EU, on track to meet its Kyoto target, has incorporated its 20% greenhouse gas reduction commitment into law and remains committed to the long-term target of 80-95% reduction of its emissions by 2050.
- Sustainable development: for the 2007 – 2013 financial period, the EU provides over €1.14 billion to develop the economic, social and environmental potential of the Arctic regions of the EU and neighbouring areas.
- Research: The EU has made a leading contribution on Arctic research over the last ten years, contributing around 200 million EUR of EU funds to international research activities in the Arctic.