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Rapid Arctic melting is 'first and foremost a global issue'

A delegate from the influential Arctic Council that jointly governs the polar region has warned that the rapid melting of ice demand the attention of governments around the world.

The Council has just made its first visit to the North Pole, from where ITV News' Science Editor Lawrence McGinty just filed a report on the changing Arctic.

Icelandic delegate Jonas Allansson told ITV News that changes were taking place "much faster than anticipated" and that the policies of all nations must reflect this.

Among the issues the Council must address is access to the vast fossil fuel deposits that have become accessible with the shrinking ice, and the possibility of a northern shipping route that could dramatically reduce journey times for cargo ships.

The Council consists of delegates from the eight countries whose territories fall within the Arctic Circle, including the US, Canada, Russia and Norway.