President’s call to save the Arctic at UN climate summit

The two week COP24 takes place in Poland - ironically, Europe's largest producer of coal.

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President Sauli Niinistö gives a speech to UN climate conference in Poland / Credit: Katri Makkonen / Office of the President of the Republic of Finland

President Sauli Niinistö has again spoken out about the need to protect the Arctic, which is warming at twice the pace than the planet, on average.

Addressing delegates at a United Nations climate change conference in Katowice, Poland, Niinistö highlighted the problems of black carbon emissions, which have been a particular focus of the current Finnish presidency of the Arctic Council.

“The Arctic cannot be saved without CO2 mitigation, but reducing black carbon would bring additional and more immediate results in slowing down the temperature rise. And saving the Arctic is needed to save the globe” said Niinistö.

Finland’s Arctic Council role lasts until April 2019 and officials have been trying to persuade leaders like US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin to attend a high level summit in Finland to address Arctic issues.

The UN summit in Poland – known as COP24 – has the goal of getting countries to agree a set of common rules to implement the Paris Agreement to mitigate the effects of climate change. Poland is one of Europe’s largest producer of coal.