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'The wellbeing of our environments, economies, and societies depend on a stable Arctic,' said Professor Whiteman

Celebrities join Business School professor in virtual call to address Arctic change during ‘digital Davos’

Adventurer Bear Grylls, musician Billie Eilish and the actors Robert Downey Jr and Rainn Wilson will be among the famous faces demanding climate action at the Davos Agenda’s Environment Day, taking place tomorrow (27 January).

The virtual event has been organised by Arctic Basecamp, the climate action campaign group founded by Professor Gail Whiteman, Professor of Sustainable Business at the University of Exeter Business School.

It takes the place of the group’s Arctic science basecamp, set up each year outside the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, where scientists and campaigners apply pressure to world leaders to address the global risks from Arctic change.

At 6pm Professor Whiteman will take part in ‘A Plan for the Planet: The Arctic & Beyond’, a high-level panel co-hosted by Time Magazine that will discuss what happened to the Arctic in 2020 and why protecting it from warming matters if we hope to slow global climate change and achieve a post-pandemic recovery.

Fellow panellists include actor and philanthropist Robert Downey Jr, star of US sitcom the Office and Arctic Basecamp advisory board member Rainn Wilson, climate policy expert Baroness Bryony Worthington, business leader Eric Rondolat and HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway.

It will be followed at 7pm by ‘Make Earth Cool Again’ – billed as an Arctic Basecamp ‘science jam’ – which will live stream on the platform SoulPancake and Arctic Basecamp’s social media channels.

Prof Gail Whiteman, Professor of Sustainable Business at the University of Exeter Business School and founder of Arctic Basecamp, said: “If we do not protect the Arctic from climate change today, we will not be able to achieve a prosperous post-pandemic future. The wellbeing of our environments, economies, and societies depend on a stable Arctic.

“We need our global leaders to apply responsive and responsible leadership to address global risks from Arctic change, and I’m so excited to have such a high calibre of panelists joining us to raise the profile of this issue.”

Professor Whiteman created the concept of setting up an Arctic science basecamp World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, to send a message to global leaders over the need for action on Arctic change.

It has been held every year since 2017 has been endorsed by the likes of former US vice president Al Gore and the teenage climate campaigner Greta Thunberg, who camped out with her dad and the Arctic Basecamp team in 2019.

The Davos Agenda is a virtual platform offering global leaders the chance to share their views on the state of the world held from 25-29 January, and replaces this year’s WEF meeting, which has been postponed until May and relocated to Singapore.

Find out more about Arctic Basecamp's Davos Agenda's Environment Day here.

Date: 26 January 2021

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