The Arctic Circle

The Arctic Circle conference is currently taking place in Reykjavík. For three days, 700 people, scientists, politicians and ordinary people will give talks at around 200 events in Harpa Conference and Music Hall in Reykjavík. This is the tenth time that this annual conference has been held. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, the former President of Iceland, and the founder of Hringborðið (Roundtable), said in his opening speech that this had been a remarkable journey concerning the issues of the Arctic. Which have now come to the centre of attention globally, due to the challenge we face in climate matters. The Prime Minister of Iceland Katrín Jakobsdóttir said at the opening that the world is facing a threat. A big and worthy task here and at COP 28, the UN Climate Conference, which will be held in AUE next month, is to show how the nations in the Arctic are facing major changes caused by man. Iceland intends to do its part to achieve the UN goals, she said. Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, says the Arctic Roundtable is an extremely important forum. A lot has been achieved in the Arctic, but many challenges are facing us. Not only in climate matters but also the recent political instability in the world. There is therefore a changed world view in the region that is most affected by the climate changes in the world, right here in the Arctic.

Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson opens the Arctic Circle conference

Ólafur Ragnar’s many faces during the live opening speech

Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir delivers a speech

The opening events were well attended

Fashion from Greenland on display in Harpa, from NORA

Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, gives a speech

Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Denmark was everywhere in Harpa

The 27-year-old Romina Pourmokhtari, Sweden’s Minister of Climate and Environment, in a panel discussion with the eighty-year-old Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson

Photographs & text: Páll Stefánsson
Reykjavík 19/10/2023 –  A7RIII, A7R IV : FE 1.4/85mm, FE 1.4/24mm GM