October 16, 2018 – Ottawa, Canada – Inuit support the strong findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, but say the emergency debate in the House of Commons last night to discuss the critical issue of global warming, the IPCC Report, and Canada’s response to it is thirty years overdue.
“Inuit have been bringing warnings about global warming to the international community as far back as the first Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992,” says ICC (Canada) President Monica Ell-Kanayuk. “I recall doing story after story about how the Arctic regions were suffering from the effects of climate change when I was at CBC Radio for 18 years. Now more than ever it’s vital that our federal government – in fact politicians across party lines – take this report seriously and take urgent and drastic measures to limit global warming to 1.5°C.” The IPCC special report on Global Warming of 1.5°C originated at the Paris Climate talks in 2015. It was approved October 7th in South Korea. Among its findings “The Arctic and its Indigenous Peoples” are listed as “unique and threatened systems”. In addition the report describes large scale singular events caused by global warming, notably the disintegration of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. “In the Arctic, triggering events are already happening, according to the report,” says Monica Ell-Kanayuk. “The chronic loss of Arctic sea ice, the melting of the permafrost, and the carbon dioxide and methane released from the oceans have unleashed, runaway global warming, which we cannot stop even if we end all of our own emissions. These findings are not surprising to Inuit. We have been observing changes to our environment for decades, and the IPCC findings are consistent with our Inuit knowledge.” Inuit say they will reiterate and strengthen the message voiced at the Paris Climate Change talks, working with governments to ensure global warming will not exceed 1.5°C at the next United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference in Katowice, Poland in December 2018.
“Emergency is indeed the right word to use for this debate,” says Monica Ell-Kanayuk. “Inuit are witnessing the global impact first hand. Rising temperatures are leading to dramatic
irreversible effects on Arctic communities.”
_____________________________Inuit Circumpolar Council – Canada ___________________________________
75 Albert Street, Suite 1001 ∙ Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1P 5E7 ∙ P: 613.563.2642 ∙ F: 613.565.3089 ∙ www.inuitcircumpolar.com
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Contact: Natasha Latreille ICC (Canada) 613-563-2642
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The Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) is an Indigenous Peoples’ Organization (IPO), founded in 1977 to promote and celebrate the unity of 160,000 Inuit from Alaska (USA), Canada, Greenland, and Chukotka (Russia). ICC 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.