Conference on Global Leadership in the Arctic: August 30-31, 2015

The Conference on Global Leadership in the Arctic: Cooperation, Innovation, Engagement and Resilience, or GLACIER, will highlight international and domestic priorities in the Arctic. The Department of State will host GLACIER in Anchorage, Alaska on August 31st. At the direction of the U.S. Arctic Executive Steering Committee, the Department of State is developing the agenda for GLACIER in close coordination with the White House, and Departments and Agencies of the United States Government with Arctic responsibilities.

This global leadership focus on the Arctic is intended to generate momentum and expedite progress in addressing some of the most pressing issues facing the region. This conference will bring together Foreign Ministers of Arctic nations and key non-Arctic states with scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders from Alaska and the Arctic. Representatives of Arctic indigenous peoples will be invited to attend and encouraged to participate. GLACIER will discuss individual and collective action to address climate change in the Arctic; raise the visibility of climate impacts in the Arctic as a harbinger for the world, and the Arctic’s unique role in global climate change; identify ways that Arctic innovators are responding to these critical challenges; and share opportunities to prepare and respond to other issues in the changing Arctic.

GLACIER will take place during the U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, but is not an Arctic Council sponsored event. GLACIER is also not directly related to the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (otherwise known as COP-21) taking place in late 2015. This conference will, however, help to focus attention on the challenges and opportunities that the Arctic Council intends to address and highlight how a region vulnerable to climate change is experiencing and responding to these impacts, helping to drive political will for ambitious action at COP-21.

The full-day event will begin with an opening plenary session, after which attendees may participate in one of three tracks. Foreign Ministers will participate in sessions focused on changes in the Arctic and global implications of those changes, climate resilience and adaptation planning, and strengthening coordination on Arctic issues. Occurring in parallel will be panel discussions between international and domestic policymakers, scientists, NGOs, and industry representatives, as well as representatives of Arctic indigenous peoples and Alaskans. These sessions will address topics such as climate change in the Arctic and beyond, strengthening emergency response, preventing unregulated Arctic high seas fisheries, renewable energy, science cooperation, and household innovations that promote economic efficiency and community health. A plenary session will conclude the conference and a “Chair’s Summary” will capture the outcomes of this important event.

Participation at GLACIER is currently by invitation only. Should additional seats become available, the State Department will implement an online registration process for interested attendees that will be announced on this site.

For additional information please email GLACIER.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

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