What happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic

Davos 2022

The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum took place May 22 to 26 in Davos, Switzerland, and Arctic Basecamp was there for the fifth time.

This was our fifth appearance at Davos and our fourth edition camping in front of the majestic Berghotel Schatzalp to press the urgency of the Arctic crisis.

We were thrilled to launch the Arctic Risk Platform, an innovative interactive tool, backed by the latest science and designed to provide business leaders and policymakers worldwide with actionable insights on climate risks, impacts, and solutions and why the Arctic is key for each of those.

Our agenda of high-level sessions on the most pressing issues of the day – from conflict emissions and food security to the role of social media in climate activism proved popular and can be viewed below:

What will it take to hold the +1.5°C line?

At Davos, we believed that a serious discussion of “What will it really take to hold the +1.5°C line” needed to happen. A failure to look clear-eyed at the science behind these transition plans will be disastrous for the future of humanity, as the likelihood of limiting global warming to 1.5°C is already vanishingly small. How can closer and transparent discussions with the youth and scientific community provide a reality check on what it really takes to hold the 1.5°C line?

Conflict, Climate and Food: Managing these Complex Risks

Conflict, climate and food insecurity hit at the very foundations of life as we know it.  The war in Ukraine is a horrifying example with estimates from the FAO that the crisis will push 12 million people into hunger globally. Experts warn that the world is facing an unprecedented global food crisis. Threats to global food security are also massively amplified by climate change, including shifts in the Arctic. What is often overlooked is the intersection between these risks as well as the significant hidden carbon emissions related to war and military operations. 

There is a wealth of environmental and social-economic data that can be used to monitor our planet, but not enough in a usable form that provides businesses with the information they need to mitigate risks, adapt and develop solutions to climate change. There is a clear need for accessible digital platforms alongside scientific expertise to help businesses take effective action and plan ahead.  This session explores how scientists can work with technology and business leaders to fully integrate sustainability data with advances in data science, artificial intelligence and cutting-edge digital technologies and services to provide real-time, meaningful and actionable insights that will be crucial in addressing global risks.

A failure to look clear-eyed at the science behind these transition plans will be disastrous for the planet as the likelihood of limiting temperature rises to 1.5C is vanishingly small. How can closer and transparent discussions with the scientific community help business and finance leaders avoid a “Don’t Look Up” Ending? Speakers make the case that scientists must hold the world to account and ensure that net zero actions are firmly based on rigorous scientific foundations and the non-negotiable nature of the 1.5C target — if we wish to avoid fundamental tipping points, there is no room for spin.

In parallel, the ongoing situation in Ukraine provides a reality check on the human, economic and geopolitical catastrophe of fossil fuels. Climate change and conflict are not separate issues; the roots of both of these threats to humanity can be found in fossil fuels.

Two of our Youth Ambassadors, Cassidy Kramer and Helena Gualinga, were also invited to participate inside the Forum in a session titled – Turning Words into Action on Wednesday 25 May. 

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) landmark report warns humanity that “it’s now or never” to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis. What is needed from world leaders in 2022 to deliver meaningful action to reduce emissions and rejuvenate the natural world?

Watch the livestream HERE.

I'm here because the Arctic is not heard in these spaces. Many people forget about the Arctic and about the people in the Arctic and i don't think that is fair because we are going through a lot of loss.

The Facts

The Arctic has been described as the canary in the coalmine for the health of the global environment. It is a complex region that is experiencing unprecedented change.