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Posted November 21, 2008
Global Economy

Global warming could lead to more Arctic energy

"The Arctic offers new energy and fishing resources as a result of global warming and new technology, the European Union said on Thursday. Melting ice also presented new navigation possibilities such as a short route to the Pacific Ocean, the EU executive said.

The rapid recession of sea ice, snow cover and permafrost were helping to accelerate global warming and the loss from the Greenland ice sheet would bring a swift rise in sea levels, it said in a paper. [Reuters]

The European Union should lead international efforts to protect the Arctic region from global warming and from the resulting increase in the exploitation by humans of its natural resources, officials in Brussels said Thursday. In a document submitted to the European Parliament and to member states, the European Commission warned that the Arctic region was becoming "increasingly at risk from the combined effects of climate change and increased human activity." [Deutsche Press Agengcy]

The new EU strategy, which will be debated by EU governments in coming months, foresees a stepped up role by EU officials in the eight-country Arctic Council as well as part of the United Nations' Law of the Sea Convention which is trying to settle claims over the Arctic.

Ferrero-Waldner said that acting through these means, the EU as a whole will be able to have a greater say over the Arctic's future.

Countries involved in the claims recommitted themselves last May to settle competing claims under the UN convention. A UN panel is supposed to decide on control of the Arctic by 2020. [The Canadian Press]

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