“We are living in an ice-dependent world” (Iceland’s President)
During my recent visit to Sustainability Week in Abu Dhabi, I was interested to meet the President of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson. He gave one of the keynote speeches at the World Future Energy Summit and was also on the Jury for the prizes presented as part of the Zayed Future Energy Prize to initiatives around the world to promote sustainability through renewable energy in different parts of the world.
I asked him how he had come to be involved so closely with Abu Dhabi, the icy north working with the desert oil state. The link goes back to an Abu Dhabi delegation visiting Iceland 8 years ago to talk about using clean energy. Since then, he finds it fascinating and encouraging to see how the Gulf state is turning itslf into “one of the primary locations in the world for dialogue and cooperation on a clean energy future.”
But the message I’d really like to share with the Ice Blog community is the one about the undeniable connections between what’s happening in the Arctic and what’s happening in the rest of the world. President Grímsson explained his view to me at a reception after the prize-giving ceremony.
In a nutshell, he says one of the key results of scientific research is recent years is that the Arctic plays a major role in influencing weather and other developments around the world, and that fact that the ice is melting fast. Let me quote him:
“I think the melting of the ice is really the frightening message. Climate change is a difficult word, because somehow it is not concrete. The melting of the ice is something that everybody understands.”
DateJanuary 31, 2013 | 11:02 am