Arctic "under threat from industry"

Environmental damage in the Arctic will reach "critical" levels by 2050 if current rates of industrial development continue, concludes a UN report published today. Already, species found in up to one-fifth of the region's land area have suffered falls in population or breeding success due to human encroachment and impacts from long-range pollution. UN environment programme chief Klaus Töpfer put particular blame on oil, gas and mineral exploration, plus hydroelectric schemes, timber extraction and new roads. See press release and report.

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