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Lewis Pugh to attempt ‘coldest swim on earth’ to highlight impact of climate change

Lewis Pugh, UN Patron of the Oceans, has announced that he will embark on a 10km swim across the mouth of the Ilulissat Icefjord in Greenland at the end of this month, the latest challenge in his campaign to highlight the impact of climate change.

Pugh’s swim, which is expected to take two weeks and will likely be further than 10km due to navigating around ice bergs and brash ice, will highlight the speed of the Climate Crisis ahead of the UN Climate Conference held in Glasgow this November.

“What happens in the Arctic will determine the future of our planet and everything that lives on it,” he says.

“The Polar Regions are feeling the effects of the Climate Crisis more dramatically than anywhere else on Earth.

“If temperatures continue to increase, the polar ice caps will melt and sea levels will rise. Unless we take urgent action to decrease global temperatures by seriously lowering our global CO2 emissions, low-lying islands and coastal cities will, quite literally, drown.”

Pugh is calling for 30% of the world’s oceans to be protected by 2030 as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), and will ask world leaders to move beyond long-term commitments toward immediate urgent action.

To prepare for this challenge, Pugh has been training in Iceland as part of his cold-water adaptation programme.

To read about his preparations, keep an eye out for our September issue, which will include a report from a member of Pugh’s acclimatisation team