The summit on the poles and glaciers ended with a political announcement by the French president in favor of research at the poles and at altitude. On this occasion, 30 countries pledged to take measures to protect the cryosphere.
Yesterday, President Emmanuel Macron announced one billion euros to support polar research at the One Planet – Polar Summit, more than the 450 million euros requested by the parliamentary working group, but without announcing any deadlines. This funding is intended to implement the French Polar Strategy. “An Antarctic project we’ve been working on for a long time will now be able to get underway,” explains Anne Choquet, President of the french polar research and academic society called CNFRAA.
The announcement includes funding for the construction of an oceanographic vessel. “Ifremer needs to renew part of its fleet, including a vessel stationed in New Caledonia, which could then work in Antarctica for part of the year,” explains Hervé Baudu, maritime specialist in polar navigation at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Marine Marchande and member of CNFRAA. The French Dumont d’Urville polar station will be rebuilt and Concordia renovated.
The French Minister for Ecological Transition acknowledges that there is a link between the loss of the cryosphere and the increase in conflicts – for example, the lack of water resources accentuates tensions – and that the cost of inaction must be factored into budgets. The French Research Minister believes that scientific platforms such as icebreakers should be shared between countries.
Various heads of state and representatives also took the floor to share their ambitions and needs. Representatives of indigenous communities have asked to be more involved in the governance of their territories. The former president of Iceland believes that dialogue with Russia must be resumed, without which part of the Arctic is excluded from international discussions. India, Italy, the United States, Monaco, Bulgaria, Pakistan, Norway, Spain, Canada, Norway, Mauritius… 30 countries have joined the Paris Call for the Poles and Glaciers.
Kazakhstan’s representative says they want to reduce coal consumption. The German representative believes that pole tourism needs to be better regulated. The European fisheries representative stresses the need to protect Antarctica from fishing. The UK ambassador stressed the importance of artificial intelligence for studying and predicting the evolution of ice, climate and sea levels.
Cities and coastal regions will have to adapt to rising sea levels, in the hope that everything possible will be done to limit climate change. Cities will have to move back, and this cannot be done without including local populations. As the mayor of Nice can testify, it’s difficult to change the land registry without alienating the population. The French Polynesian MP insists on the importance of including insurance and finance at the negotiating table to ensure project financing.
Camille Lin, PolarJournal
Link to theParis Calll for Poles and Glaciers.