By Stephen Leahy
NY-ÅLESUND, Svalbard, Norway, Jun 14 (IPS)
Spectacular views of mountains and glaciers here in the world’s most northerly permanent human settlement contrasted with business and political leaders’ pessimism and concern about the enormous gap between the action on climate that science deems necessary and what politics considers realistic.
“We must push beyond the politically feasible,” said Tora Aasland, Norway’s minister of research and higher education.
“Here we are at the edge of the North Pole where climate change is easier to see…How do we communicate the urgency of our situation?” Aasland asked several dozen attendees at a recent high-level symposium in Ny-Ålesund, on the western coast of Spitsbergen Island about 1,200 kilometers from the North Pole.
She emphasised that we already know what to do and how to do it, including reducing fossil fuel energy use, improving energy efficiency, and investing in new technologies like carbon capture and storage.
Taking action on climate is imperative and an ambitious international agreement is urgently needed based on what scientists say is required to stabilise the climate system, participants concluded in a final statement. However, the current series of international climate negotiations in Bonn, Germany have bogged down and are on the edge of collapse, several participants noted. Continue reading