23 January, 2018

A team of leading Arctic scientists – including British Antarctic Survey glaciologist Dr Jeremy Wilkinson – are gathering in Davos this week at the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting (23-24 January 2018). Their goal is to highlight climate change in the Polar Regions, and to demonstrate the latest scientific advances in measuring environmental change in two of the world’s most remote and climatically important regions.

At ‘Global Goals Arctic Basecamp’, the scientists will demonstrate that climate change is real, is happening now, and that humans are partly responsible. This coincides with WEF launching its annual Global Risks Report which has reported ‘extreme weather’ as the number one Global Risk.

Global Goals Arctic Basecamp takes place at WEF in Davos on 23-24 January 2018

The Global Goals Arctic Basecamp, has four key objectives: to present state-of-the-art research showing the dramatic changes occuring in the Arctic, to explain how these changes impact Arctic and non-Arctic countries alike; to outline the global economic risks related to Arctic change; and to showcase solutions and opportunities by way of inspiring action amongst the world leaders and top decision-makers at Davos.

The scientists, who are leading researchers from around the world, will be based at the Global Goals Arctic Basecamp at Davos, a creative and immersive environment that will give attendees the opportunity to learn about the latest technology solutions that are reducing carbon emissions.

Inside the two Basecamp tents, business leaders will see scientific equipment such as sensors, buoys and probes that researchers use in the Polar Regions. Screens will show a live link-up to BAS Rothera Research Station where business leaders will discover more about living and working in Antarctica from talking to Winter Station Leader Dr Jess Walkup.

Gail Whiteman, creator of the Arctic Basecamp and Director of the Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business at Lancaster University, says:

“We set up the Arctic Basecamp at Davos in order to communicate to world leaders the significant global economic and social risks from Arctic change, and the urgent need to bend the emissions curve by 2020. The fact that such a significant number of Arctic scientists have gathered here at the WEF reflects this urgency and we hope that our partnership with Mission 2020 and Global Goals ensures that low carbon solutions are driven by rigorous scientific evidence: we bring the facts, they bring the answers.”

Gail Whiteman from Lancaster University and Dr Jeremy Wilkinson from BAS are part of the group engaging with business leaders at WEF

Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and convener of Mission2020 says:

“The science sends one clear message: urgency, urgency, urgency. We have a golden opportunity between now and 2020 to step up our ambition and speed up our action on climate change. In service of our beautiful Arctic, in service of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement, let’s turn the tide of emissions by 2020 so that everyone can prosper”.

Jeremy Wilkinson, Senior Glaciologist at British Antarctic Survey says:

“The science is unequivocal. Arctic change is progressing rapidly and these changes will impact us all. It is great to see the prominent work scientists are playing in influencing the political and business agenda at WEF and around the world. Scientists must continue to develop these essential relationships, and ensure they provide access to the latest research which must underpin decisions that shift the world to a low-carbon economy.”

The Basecamp inititaive draws on research from Mission2020, a global campaign to accelerate action on climate change so we can reach a turning point on greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

Scientists at the Global Goals Arctic Basecamp include:

Gail Whiteman, Professor-in-residence at the World Business for Sustainable Decvelopment and Rubin Chair and Director of the Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business at Lancaster University, UK

Jeremy Wilkinson, Senior Glaciologist at British Antarctic Survey, UK

Bruce Forbes, Professor of Geosciences at the University of Lapland, Finland

Jennifer Francis, Research Professor with the Rutgers Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences, USA

Craig Lee, Professor and Senior Principal Oceanographer at the University of Washington, USA

Johan Rockstrom, Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre and Chair of the Arctic Council’s Resilience Assessment Report, Sweden

Konrad Steffen, Director of the Swiss Federal Research Institute and a Professor in Climate and Cryosphere at the School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering at EPF-Lausanne, Switzerland

Julienne Stroeve, Senior Research Scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center and Professor at UCL, USA and UK