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News Release

Inuit Circumpolar Council-Alaska

The Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) participated virtually in the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) 77 meetings last week where important issues that impact the Arctic were discussed. As the first Indigenous organization with provisional consultative status at International Maritime Organization, Inuit Circumpolar Council brings unique perspectives to these discussions and welcomes new partnerships.

“A major issue was aligning the International Maritime Organization with the Glasgow Agreement through key steps towards decarbonizing global shipping to achieve the aspirational 1.5°C as agreed to at COP26 Climate Summit. This would include the signing of the Dhaka-Glasgow Declaration, the Clydebank Declaration, and the Declaration on Zero Emission Shipping by 2050 for greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions in the global shipping fleet. Inuit Circumpolar Council regrets that a firm commitment, despite widespread support for emission reduction by 2050 was not supported. However, a basket of mid-term measures to tackle emissions — including both a carbon levy and a fuel standard — with talks resuming in 2022 was the outcome,” stated Dalee Sambo Dorough, Inuit Circumpolar Council Chair.

Black carbon emissions, known to be an issue in the Arctic as a climate amplifier, were also discussed with the agreement of a resolution to immediately switch away, on a voluntary basis, from hazardous and polluting heavy fuel oil to cleaner alternatives. With this resolution International Maritime Organization members sent a clear message about the significant impacts from black carbon as well as the shipping sectors’ responsibility in reducing it. Inuit Circumpolar Council also reaffirmed its position that Inuit in remote communities should not have to bear the costs of the transition to cleaner fuels.

In support of Inuit Circumpolar Council’s positions, Jimmy Nuake, Solomon Islands Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Infrastructure Development, said at the meeting, “Pacific small island developing states (SIDS) like the Solomon Islands are facing immediate issues related to climate change and we join with our Arctic brothers and sisters to call for immediate action to eliminate greenhouse gases and black carbon from the global shipping fleet.”

Lisa Koperqualuk, Inuit Circumpolar Council Canada Vice-President International, stated, “Inuit Circumpolar Council continues to support a sustainable Arctic fleet. Arctic shipping is critical infrastructure for Arctic communities and 90% of all global trade is by ships making this a key industry to work with in partnership to advance environmental protection. Protection of the Arctic marine environment and food security is the paramount concern”.

Inuit Circumpolar Council with its provisional consultative status looks forward to working with all members but especially the small island states to call for emissions reductions in line with preventing impacts to vulnerable states and Inuit communities.

About Inuit Circumpolar Council

The Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) is an Indigenous Peoples’ Organization (IPO), founded in 1977 to promote and celebrate the unity of 180,000 Inuit from Alaska (USA), Canada, Greenland, and Chukotka (Russia). The Inuit Circumpolar Council works to promote Inuit rights, safeguard the Arctic environment, and protect and promote the Inuit way of life. In regard to climate change, we believe that it is crucial for world leaders and governments to recognize, respect and fully implement the human rights of Inuit and all other Indigenous peoples across the globe.

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