Climate Change in the Arctic

Climate change is rapidly changing the Arctic environment and impacting Arctic Indigenous peoples, including Inuit and Saami, and the entire world. The health and well-being of Inuit and Saami are inextricably tied to the Arctic environment, and in particular, sea ice and permafrost. For millennia we have been stewards of the Arctic. Our culture and traditions reflect our deep knowledge and respect for the land, ocean and life for the overall Arctic environment.

Sea ice and permafrost play a vital role for the global future. Inuit and Saami knowledge holders and scientists have noted the unprecedented rate of Arctic sea ice loss. From the Arctic Council’s 2004 Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) to the 2014 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fifth Assessment Report, the predictions that summer sea ice will melt at unprecedented rates have become a reality and even occurred faster. Scientific evidence shows that the earth’s climate system is warming and that the Arctic will continue to warm at twice the rate of lower latitudes over the next century.


IIPFCC Arctic Caucus 

Inuit Circumpolar Council

The Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) is an indigenous peoples’ organization, founded in 1977 to promote and celebrate the unity of 160,000 Inuit from Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Chukotka. ICC works to promote Inuit rights, safeguard the Arctic environment, and protect and promote the Inuit way of life.  As the international voice of Inuit, ICC is calling upon global leaders at the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (CoP 21) in Paris, France to listen, support and act upon climate issues identified by Inuit and other indigenous peoples.


Saami Council

The Saami Council is a non–governmental Saami organization, with Saami member organizations in Finland, Russia, Norway and Sweden. One of the oldest Indigenous peoples’ organizations, the Saami Council has actively dealt with Saami policy issues since 1956. The primary aim of the Saami Council is to promote Saami rights and interests in the four countries where the Saami reside, to promote a feeling of affinity among the Saami people, to attain recognition for the Saami as a nation, and to maintain the economic, social and cultural rights of the Saami in Norway, Sweden, Russia and Finland. The Saami Council calls on global leaders to ensure the full and effective participation of the Saami and other indigenous peoples in decision-making processes concerning land use change and climate change policy.