Resolution accepted at the 9th EGP Council meeting, Montreuil, Paris, France, October 9-12, 2008
The European Green Party concludes that the Arctic is under immediate threat of being vastly exploited by the international and global energy and mining industry as well as large scale shipping and military presence,
•that the Arctic region is considered to contain up to 25 percent of Earth’s undiscovered reserves of fossil fuels and vast mineral resources,
•that the temperature in the Arctic region is increasing at an alarming rate, melting the polar ice and permafrost and making the resources mentioned above accessible to mankind,
•that the melting of polar ice sheets presents new possibilities for freight ships travelling to and from the northern continents,
•that the Arctic region is inhabited by a number of indigenous peoples, depending on traditional life-styles,
•that the eco-systems in the Arctic are vulnerable and under great stress from climate change,
•that the development of the Arctic region is presently governed by the Arctic Council, where the majority of the seven member states have interests in energy production on a global scale,
•that discussions and negotiations within the Arctic Council are focused on extraction of resources and management of industrial activities, not on the protection of the Arctic environment or peacekeeping,
•that territorial claims regarding supremacy have already led to conflicts, •that further prospecting for oil, coal and gas is contrary to the interest of preserving the environment and
the protection of the climate,
The European Green Party concludes that
•the Arctic is under immediate threat of being vastly exploited by the international and global energy and mining industry as well as large scale shipping and military presence,
•the Arctic is a region with great potential for conflicts, not excluding the use of arms,
•development in the Arctic is first and foremost a matter for the indigenous peoples and secondly for the global community – it is not a region whose destiny should be determined by a few oil producing countries that happen to have territories north of the Arctic Circle,
•the Arctic is in need of a global agreement to preserve peace in the region and to protect the interests of the indigenous peoples, the environment and the ecosystems.
•the international community should, as soon as possible, draw up and adopt a convention or other international instrument that
a)protects the region from the extraction of fossil fuels and minerals and other industrial activities for at least 100 years,
b)designates the Arctic region as a non-militarized zone for the same period,
c)recognizes the supremacy of the indigenous peoples living in the region and their right to traditional life-styles,
d)aims to assist the peoples of the North in adaptation to climate change, Such an instrument could be constructed in the same way as the agreement that today protects the Antarctic from exploitation or through a protocol under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Therefore, the European Green Party calls on its Member Parties, Members of Parliaments, local and regional deputies, Members of the European Parliament to:
Take initiatives and act in favor of measures to develop and implement such an instrument at all relevant levels.
Download the complete resolution in PDF format here...