The Arctic is warming four times faster than the rest of the planet. As the region grows economically and in geopolitical influence, how is climate change driving global cooperation?
Olafur Grimsson served five terms as Iceland’s president. The realities of climate change — and the need for global cooperation — are what motivated him to create the Arctic Circle organization a decade ago.
“You cannot successfully deal with climate change unless you cooperate with India, China and all the Asian powers,” Grimsson tol Full Frame host Mike Walter spoke in Nuuk, Greenland, where the Arctic Circle hosted an international gathering government representatives, community and business leaders, and scientists.
Grimsson discussed the need for these kinds of meetings, the history of the relationship between Iceland and China, and how he hopes to bring this model of regional cooperation will extend to other parts of the world.
Building a Greener Greenland
Besides hunting and fishing, Greenland has very little domestic production and must import many of its commodities, mainly from Europe.
In an effort to be more sustainable and self-reliant, some Greenlanders are finding innovative ways of building a greener future for their home.
‘Shift from south to north’
Aaja Chemnitz Larsen is a Greenlandic politician who serves in one of the two seats represented by Greenland in the Danish Parliament. Although it also has its own government, Greenland is a part of Denmark.
Chemnitz Larsen is a member of Inuit Ataqatigiit, Greenland’s democratic socialist political party. Prior to going into politics, she worked on social issues, including children’s and indigenous rights.
As the region grows in geopolitical influence, she says more Greenlandic voices need to be part of international discussions.
“I would like to see a power shift from the south to the north,” she said. “We need to have a strong representation, and we need to make sure that Greenlanders are sitting at the table and sitting at the right tables … So we make sure that Greenlanders and people of the north are being heard.”