Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 413

Briefing Note What Role for the Arctic in the UN Paris Climate Conference (COP-21)? S├ębastien Duyck During the two first weeks of December 2015, the UN Climate Conference in Paris will put climate change back at the center of the agenda of the international community. Six years after the breakdown of the Copenhagen climate conference, the international community is once again aiming at finalizing and adopting a new legally-binding instrument to address climate change. Just as the climate negotiations ramp up in the lead up to this event, climate change has also emerged as a major theme of the ongoing US chairmanship of the Arctic Council. The country has not only committed to work through the Council and its Working Groups towards better addressing climate impacts across the circumpolar world, but mindful of the upcoming Paris conference, President Obama also conveyed an unprecedented intergovernmental conference in the Arctic to highlight the regional implications of climate change and to raise awareness. In the context of these parallel developments, we review the role that the Arctic plays in relation to these international climate negotiations. How have Arctic climate change been addressed so far by two decades of climate negotiations? Wh