EU Arctic Forum: Statement by the High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini, Commissioner Karmenu Vella and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Ann Linde

Today and tomorrow, the EU Arctic Forumis taking place in Umeå, Sweden. The event, co-organised by the European Union and the Government of Sweden, is mainly discussing international cooperation, the climate-environment-ocean nexus, sustainable investments, and connectivity. The EU Arctic Forum is a unique opportunity to build on the achievements of the EU Arctic policy in recent years, to provide new momentum for a stronger global action on issues affecting the region, and to inform on the EU’s policy direction on Arctic issues post-2020. In a joint statement, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Ann Linde said: “In view of the challenges facing the Arctic due to global warming, the EU is strongly committed to helping the region adapt to climate change, protecting the environment and developing its economy in a sustainable way. We are delivering on this commitment in three practical ways: by investing in research and development, by protecting local ecosystems and biodiversity, and where appropriate, by building better infrastructure to connect the region to the mainland, including broadband connection. The EU recognises the need to work closely with national, regional and local authorities in the European Arctic in this regard. The EU emphasises its commitment to facilitate Arctic stakeholder engagement in the European Arctic region. The EU is directly affected by climatic and environmental changes in the Arctic, which profoundly alters living conditions in the Arctic and globally. Last week’s Special Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on oceans and the cryosphere has strongly reinforced the message that we need to limit global warming to 1.5°C. The EU is committed to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions and becoming a carbon-neutral economy by 2050.”