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Arctic Council

Volume 732: debated on Tuesday 2 May 2023

8. What recent discussions he has had with his international counterparts on the operation of the Arctic Council. (904719)

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office officials continue to engage actively with our Arctic partners on the future operation of the Arctic Council. We look forward to working with the incoming Norwegian chairmanship of the Arctic Council from 11 May.

With the two-year Russian presidency of the Arctic Council coming to an end this month, as my hon. Friend has just said, and Norway taking over the presidency, what role can the UK play over the next two years in supporting the vital climate change research in the Arctic, which members of the sub-committee of the Environmental Audit Committee, under the chairmanship of my hon. Friend the Member for North Wiltshire (James Gray), witnessed at first hand in Svalbard before Easter?

We very much welcome the work of the sub-committee. The UK will continue to contribute expertise and research to the Arctic Council’s working groups under the incoming Norwegian chairmanship, including on climate change. We also continue to support UK-based Arctic researchers studying these key issues through funding from the Natural Environment Research Council, including partners in Canada, Greenland and elsewhere in the region.