The EU has three (and with Iceland, potentially four) Arctic Council states amongst its members and maintains close relations with Iceland and Norway through the European Economic Area. The changes to the climate in the Arctic or any possible accident happening in the area will thus have a direct and major impact on coastal regions in Europe and on its climate-dependent sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, renewable energy, tourism and transport. The EU has a responsibility to protect this area and to encourage its other Arctic partners to jointly safeguard such a fragile region.
Arctic ice is melting at an unprecedented rate. The disappearance of so much ice should be seen as a serious wake-up call for concrete action to protect our climate. It should not be seen as an opportunity for developping more exploitative businesses, which are - very ironically! - the direct reason why global warming is intensifying and thus the Arctic sea ice is melting.
Because tackling the melting of the Arctic is tackling climate change itself, protecting the Arctic is of extreme importance. Experts' warnings must be taken seriously by Europe and all politicians across the globe. Now is the time for encouraging new policies to curb fossil fuels and spuring on the development of renewable energy sources.