Earth's southernmost continent; the fifth-largest continent in area; the coldest, driest, and windiest place on earth; the continent that holds 70% of the earth’s fresh water. Whichever way you look at it, Antarctica is an extraordinary place, one that is crucial to the survival of life on earth and our understanding of climate change.
For 50 years, nations have worked together in a unique and positive manner to learn lessons from the Antarctic Treaty for the benefit of humankind. We need to make sure that they can continue to do that, not just until the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty can be modified after 2041, but for as long as we have the capacity to do good. If 47 nations can work so well together in Antarctica, all nations can work together elsewhere.
In March 2008, Robert Swan lived for two weeks at Antarctica’s first dedicated educational base, the E-Base in Bellingshausen on King George Island, where he relied solely on renewable energy (solar, wind, and thermal). If he can do it there, we can do it anywhere. If we can do this, we won’t need to exploit Antarctica for its natural resources.