“Talk to us and not about us” – The Arctic at COP28 | Polarjournal
On December 4, the Inuit Circumpolar Council previewed a video on climate change in the Arctic at COP28, pointing out that the Inuit have been at the forefront of this change for decades. Image : ICC

COP28 ended in Dubai on Tuesday with an agreement described as historic, calling for a “transition” away from fossil fuels to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The Arctic took part in the international conference, reiterating the need to include circumpolar Indigenous populations in the discussions.

Last Sunday in Dubai, the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) and the Saami Council organized Arctic Day as part of COP28. With a series of debates and events on climate change in the Arctic region. With a front-row seat to the effects of global warming and the upheavals it brings, circumpolar populations were particularly involved in this international conference on climate change. From melting sea ice and permafrost to coastal erosion and the massive fires that swept through the boreal forests this summer, the entire Arctic environment is changing, with consequences for human populations.

Kalistat Lund at COP28. Greenland’s ambition is not only to take part in world summits, but above all to define a climate strategy in which the local population will have to be involved as much as the business world and political parties. Image: Kalistat Lund

As Greenland’s Parliament voted last month to sign up to the Paris Agreement, Kalistat Lund, Greenland’s Minister for Agriculture, Self-Sufficiency, Energy and Environment, travelled to Dubai, where he expressed his satisfaction at the warm welcome and high level of interest in Greenland’s participation in the climate summit. “We often hear other countries talking and reporting about our melting glaciers, shrinking ice caps and thawing permafrost. With the accession to the Paris Agreement and our participation in COP28, we ensure that the consequences are told by us – the indigenous people who are experiencing these rapid changes. Us who see and feel the consequences.”, mentioned the minister in a press release published on December 11 on the website of Naalakkersuisut, the Government of Greenland. “It is important that our voice is heard and that we have an influence on the global climate negotiations. Now the countries of the world talk to us – not about us. And now they all know that we are acceding to the Paris Agreement.”

The Saami Council was also present, where Gunn-Britt Retter, Head of Arctic and Environmental Unit, addressed the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, on the sidelines of the meetings. Recalling that the Arctic was undergoing upheavals linked to global warming, with major consequences for circumpolar populations, Ms. Retter reiterated the need to guarantee both the prior consent of Indigenous populations and adequate funding to fight climate change.

“All climate actions must be founded on the right space approach.” At the International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Change, Gunn-Britt Retter (pictured left) reminds President Macron (pictured right) that Indigenous peoples have a right on their territories. Image: Screenshot The Saami Council / Facebook

A crucial point frequently mentioned in the discussions concerned taking into account the knowledge and expertise of circumpolar Indigenous populations. At COP28’s Arctic Day, the ICC highlighted its work to ensure the inclusion of Inuit in scientific research, one of its key concerns as reflected in its call to action launched on November 24, prior to the opening of COP28.

Mirjana Binggeli, PolarJournal

More on the subject

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
error: Content is protected !!
Share This