A summary of the results of the public consultation on the European Union´s (EU) Arctic Policy is published. The Arctic Economic Council participated in the consultation and is pleased to read that the sustainable development of the Arctic is reflected in the summary.

Autumn 2020 the European Union (EU) launched a public consultation process on its future Arctic policy in the face of new challenges and opportunities. The consultation sought input on the strengths and shortfalls of the existing policy from 2016 and help possibly prepare an updated approach.

The Arctic can Lead the Way in Responsible Development
The role of the Arctic business community in fulfilling the sustainability agenda was emphasized in the Arctic Economic Council´s (AEC) contribution to the consultation. Stating that the EU has an important role to play in ensuring the sustainable development of the Arctic.

– Economic activity in the Arctic forms an important contribution in our efforts to reach the Global Climate Goals and the Sustainable Development Goals. Sustainable utilization of the Arctic natural resources provides the world with clean energy, food, minerals needed for the green shift, green industrial products, and other goods, both serving the people in the Arctic and the rest of the world. Sustainable utilization of Arctic resources will be essential in achieving the EU’s ambitious climate targets, says Heidar Gudjonsson, Chair of the Arctic Economic Council.

In its response, the Arctic Economic Council emphasized that sustainability encompasses economic, environmental and social dimensions. AEC’s founding principles highlight the need to collaborate with the scientific community and local and indigenous populations to integrate science and ensure development of the Arctic is done in a sustainable manner. A close collaboration between public and private sectors is needed to achieve this. While applied in the Arctic, these examples of sustainability agenda are equally relevant for the rest of the world. The Arctic can lead the way in responsible development.

Sustainability in Arctic Investments
The Arctic Economic Council also highlighted the importance of sustainability in Arctic Investments and the Arctic Investment Protocol (AIP) in its answer to the consultations:

AEC embraces and promotes the use of the Arctic Investment Protocol for businesses and investors to focus on the creation of sustainable societies and business in the Arctic. These guidelines reinforce the need to respect local and indigenous communities, protect the environment, practice responsible and transparent business methods, use of best possible knowledge, and encourage strengthening pan-Arctic collaboration. Implementation of the Protocol is relevant to the Arctic and the world for the best for climate, environment, inhabitants and business of the Arctic.

Both the Arctic Economic Council and the Arctic Investment Protocol are mentioned in the summary.

Check out the summary of the results of the public consultation on the EU Arctic Policy here.