About the symposium 2014

Photo: Martin Fortier, Arctic Net Inc.


The host of The Ny-Ålesund Symposium 2014 is Ms. Tine Sundtoft, Minister of Climate and the Environment.
International high-level participants will address the Symposium, including politicians, renowned scientists, business executives and representatives of NGOs. Participation is limited to 45, by personal invitation only.

Breaking the Climate Stalemate
May 26 - May 28, 2014

This year's theme is ways to push climate action forward as rapidly as possible, both inside and outside the climate negotiations. The Ny-Ålesund Symposium will facilitate dialogue between senior actors from government, science, business, finance, industry and civil society in order to explore ways to catalyze climate action and exploit the full potential for transition to a low emission future. An approach where we look at the possibilities and benefits of climate action and necessary to break the stalemate that has so far hampered adequate response to mitigate climate change. The symposium will focus on the following topics:

  • The consequences of a Melting Arctic

  • Breaking the climate stalemate - The role of International, National and Local Action

  • Towards a New Climate Economy - the benefits of Action
There is a looming gap between current national and international actions and intentions to reduce emissions and the actual level required to keep average global temperatures from rising more than two degrees above pre-industrial level, above which science shows that there is a much higher risk of serious climate impacts.

The risk is closely linked to the responses of the Arctic climate system to rising global temperatures, such as the melting of sea-ice, ice-caps and permafrost. These processes amplifies global warming and sea-level rise, and is contributing to changing weather patterns throughout the northern hemisphere. Being in the High Arctic, the Symposium will present the latest science on Arctic Climate Change and its consequences as a backdrop for discussions on enhanced climate action.

In Durban in 2011, all parties to the UN Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) committed themselves to spur action on climate change. A new platform of negotiations to deliver a new and universal climate agreement was launched, complemented by a joint effort to find ways to further raise the existing level of national and international action to bring greenhouse gas emissions down during the period before a new agreement enters into force in 2020.

The symposium in Ny-Ålesund will focus on international and national actions and initiatives which may prove efficient to bring emissions down in the short term, and thus create momentum to scale up reductions and put us on track for an ambitious legal agreement through the UNFCCC process.

The symposium will also focus on the benefits of action on climate change, and how climate action and low-carbon investments can generate much stronger, cleaner growth. This will be discussed in the context of the New Climate Economy initiative as vehicle to reconcile increased action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with economic growth.

The symposium is also an opportunity for dialogue and initiatives which could contribute to progress and new initiatives at the UN Secretary Generals Climate Summit in September 2014, New York.

Last updated: Jun 11, 2014