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Will Arctic business collaboration lead to a greener northern economy?

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A new forum will bring Arctic businesses together to advise the Arctic Council, the Arctic’s main international governing body, on the unique economic challenges facing the north.

A flagship initiative of the Canadian chairmanship of the Arctic Council, the Arctic Economic Council (AEC) was developed to foster sustainable business development in the Arctic through international cooperation, and bring a business perspective to the Arctic Council.

WWF welcomes the AEC, and hopes it will ensure the long-term health and prosperity of the region by committing to corporate social responsibility, managing risk and environmental impacts, and planning for long-term stability.

Specifically, WWF hopes the AEC will:

  • Create green investment mechanisms to finance sustainable development in the circumpolar Arctic, particularly renewable energy projects.
  • Establish and share common Arctic regulations for the assessment of risk and environmental impacts, and conducting those assessments at every stage of industrial development projects.
  • Finance and share research that establishes environmental baselines and monitors industrial impacts.
  • Take into account all aspects of an ecosystem – biological, economic and cultural, and the cumulative impacts of human activity on the entire system.
  • Develop local, national and international policies that lead to long-term economic stability, rather than short-term domestic revenue.
  • Agree on a broad membership, including civil society organizations, and invite only businesses with a demonstrated record of environmental protection.

Industry is a critical player in the future of the Arctic. The AEC presents an opportunity to harness the private sector’s resources to develop innovative solutions leading to sustainable business decisions throughout the Arctic.

Few details are currently available about the AEC. We hope our recommendations will be reflected in the group’s operating terms.

See the official release from the Arctic Council.

« The Arctic by ship – what we learned about change | What’s life like on an Arctic expedition? »

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