In April of this year I heard the Norwegian Foreign Minister making an appeal on the BBC for concerned politicians to visit the Arctic regions in order to witness the impact of global warming on the ice sheet. I took up this opportunity and have just returned from a week spent up in the High North of Norway and in the Arctic regions themselves.
I was fortunate enough to meet with many scientists in Oslo, Tromso and also in Longyearbyen who were in a position to brief me. I also personally witnessed the unusually warm temperatures and the shrinking of the glaciers. There has been a significant impact on wild life, from the polar bear down to insects and of course on fish stocks as well as pollution of the Arctic atmosphere by poisonous gases from the industrialised countries.
I am pleased to have been able to use this trip to gather considerable information for debates on the environment, global warming and similar issues which I hope to instigate during the autumn session.