Global Linkages

Key messages

Climate change


• Many changes are already “locked-in” for the Arctic. In the years and decades to come, adaptation that integrates and respects local knowledge and Indigenous knowledge will be vital to help Arctic societies address the coming challenges. emissions to avoid tipping points. These include the thawing of permafrost, which could release large amounts of carbon into the atmosphere and derail efforts tomeet the long-termgoal of the Paris Agreement on climate change. Other possible tipping points are related to increased fresh water input or ocean acidification, with direct impacts on ocean circulation and ecosystems. • Longer-term efforts to transition to low-carbon economies, both in the Arctic and globally, must be complemented by instant measures to reduce SLCPs, including methane, tropospheric ozone and black carbon. Immediately controlling SLCPs across the world could cut the rate of warming in the Arctic by up to two-thirds by mid-century. • Concerted efforts are also needed to ensure that governments around theworld understand the very real implications of Arctic climate change for their own countries and act appropriately. • Global action is also needed to reduce CO 2

• As new chemical contaminants find their way to the Arctic, the need to strengthen international mechanisms becomes even more pressing. This includes an improved global approval system for new chemicals and exploring alternative control actions for chemicals not covered by existing conventions. • Many pollutants remain in the Arctic for long periods. Some accumulate and build-up in the food chain, posing a health risk to people, animals and ecosystems. • The Arctic acts as a sink for chemicals and heavy metals and emerging evidence shows that the Arctic Ocean, its coastline and sea floor also act as a sink for plastics from around the world as well as fromArctic sources. Concerted regional and global action, with the participation of Arctic countries and stakeholders, is needed tomanage the problemof plastic pollution. • Increasedunderstandingof theglobal effects of environmental change in the Arctic and the ways these changes affect ecosystems and the people who depend on them creates an opportunity for the harmonization and rationalization of multi-contaminant monitoring programmes. • Tackling pollution both in the Arctic and globally has clear benefits for human health.


Global Linkages

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