#109 Ólafur R. Grímsson – A Closer Look at a Melting Arctic

In our new CONVOCO! Podcast Corinne M. Flick speaks with Ólafur R. Grímsson, former President of Iceland and founder and chairman of the non-profit organization Arctic Circle, about:

A Closer Look at a Melting Arctic

Here’s what he said:

The monsoon, the weather that drives the food system of the Asian countries, is dramatically affected by the melting of the Arctic ice … When Singapore was asked, “Why do you want to join the Arctic Council?”, its answer was that the melting of the Arctic glaciers is the greatest security threat to the future of Singapore.

Given the tension with Russia, the big question is now how or whether we will be able to gather data from the vastness of the Russian Arctic. How are we going to conduct global climate science if we have no data from the biggest part of the Arctic?

The front line in the climate battle is on the one hand the melting of the ice in the Arctic, in the Himalayan glaciers, and in Antarctica, but on the other hand the energy system in the megacities of Asia and Africa in the second half of the 21st century. 

The scaremongering about China’s activities in the Arctic is completely  out of focus … There are logical economic reasons in terms of mining and energy, why China would want to be engaged in the Russian part of the Arctic. But if you look at other parts of the Arctic – the Nordic, Canadian, American parts – China is not a player.

It’s an open question whether Russia is trying to develop a kind of Eastern core in the Arctic, using the economic cooperation through energy, mining, and the Northern Sea Route.

Previous #108 Christoph E. Toepfer – Wie wichtig ist die Schifffahrt für die grüne Transformation?


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