HSH Prince Albert II To Address Copenhagen Leaders; Sounding Urgent Call To Work Together at COP 15 on Safeguarding Arctic Ice

December 14, 2009

Isabelle Peters, Prince Albert II Foundation, ipeters@fpa2.mc, + 00377 98 98 43 27.
David Monsma, The Aspen Institute Commission on Arctic Climate Change, + 011 202 340 8323.

To RSVP for the Press Event, contact:
Francesca Cava, The Aspen Institute Commission on Arctic Climate Change, francesca.cava@aspeninstitute.org, + 011 202 412 8508.

Copenhagen, Denmark — On Tuesday, December 15, 2009, at 1500 hours, during the United Nations 15th Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco will address leaders in Copenhagen with an urgent message on the planetary importance of safeguarding the Arctic ice from further melting. In a special press event at the Arctic Venue located in the Nordatlantens Brygge (North Atlantic Quay) in Copenhagen, His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco will urge the international community to work boldly together at the COP 15 toward setting targets that will protect the Arctic and addressing new industrial threats that are emerging in a melting Arctic environment.

The Arctic Venue of COP 15,
Copenhagen, Denmark

“This moment in history is critical, the mobilization of everybody is vital,” says HSH the Prince, “that of the states directly involved, whom we formally call upon to instigate concerted action in order to preserve this heritage shared by the whole of mankind; that of the other countries, who must be aware of the impact of their actions on the Arctic ice, however indirect and distant this may appear to be; and finally, that of all of us, who must learn to change our habits and models in order to have any hope of reversing the destructive spiral in which the entire planet is today involved.”

HSH the Prince is a member of the Aspen Institute Commission on Arctic Climate Change, a partnership formed between the Aspen Institute and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation in light of impending changes to the Arctic. The Commission is composed of scientists, policy experts, oil company executives and representatives from Arctic native communities and environmental organizations whose knowledge, prominence, and affiliations can give weight and draw attention to the group’s work. The Commission is examining the implications of impending climate changes for the Arctic, assessing the adequacy of current multilateral arrangements and the most current scientific understanding of Arctic systems, and making recommendations for greater international cooperation.

HSH the Prince will be joined at this special press event by four other Commissioners of the Aspen Institute Commission on Arctic Climate Change: Frances Beinecke, president of Natural Resources Defense Council; Patricia Cochran,chair of the Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change; Jim Leape, director general of WWF-International; and Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Inuit environmental and human rights activist.

“The Arctic is undergoing very rapid change as the climate warms, sea ice disappears, glaciers melt, and entire food webs get pulled apart,” says Frances Beinecke. “We need to act now because continued warming of the Arctic threatens to release huge quantities of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, that is locked in the frozen soils of the far north.”

“Indigenous Peoples from all regions of the world have come to Copenhagen to have their voices heard,” says Patricia Cochran. “Indigenous Peoples depend upon the natural environment; however, human activity is changing the world’s climate and altering the natural environment to which we are so closely tied. The world owes it to both Indigenous Peoples and itself to pay greater heed to the experiences of these communities and to the wisdom of ages-old traditional knowledge.”

Adds Sheila Watt-Cloutier: “The world leaders, Indigenous Peoples, industry representatives, environmental activists, and youth gathered here in Copenhagen this week represent our best hope for courageous action as a shared humanity towards a binding agreement on greenhouse gas limits and for preserving the human rights of indigenous peoples and vulnerable peoples in the Arctic and throughout the world.”

All of the Commissioners in attendance will give remarks on climate change in the Arctic and share perspectives on the Copenhagen negotiations. They will also take time to field media questions.

This event is open with advance RSVP to all press in Copenhagen. Space will be limited; RSVP to Francesca Cava, The Aspen Institute Commission on Arctic Climate Change, francesca.cava@aspeninstitute.org, + 011 202 412 8508.

What: Press Conference with His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco
Date and Time: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 at 1500 hours
The Arctic Venue
Fifth Floor
Nordatlantens Brygge (North Atlantic Quay)
Strandgade 93
Copenhagen, Denmark
(near Christianshavn Metro station)

The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation is dedicated to the protection of the environment and to promote a sustainable development on a global scale.  The Foundation’s efforts focus on three main areas: climate change and renewable energies, biodiversity, water and desertification.  The Foundation supports projects in three main geographical zones: the Mediterranean basin, the Polar Regions, and the least developed countries. The Foundation supports initiatives of public and private organizations and companies, in the fields of research and studies, technological innovation and socially-aware practices. www.fpa2.com

The Aspen Institute Energy and Environment Program provides nonpartisan leadership and a neutral forum for improving energy and environmental policy making through intentional, values-based dialogue. Through its policy work, public programs such as the Aspen Environment Forum, and the Catto Fellowship, an environmental leadership initiative, the Energy and Environment Program creates im partial venues for global leaders to engage in informed discussion around some of the most important and complex issues of our time. For more information on the Aspen Institute Energy and Environment Program visit www.aspeninstitute.org/ee.

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