The world’s largest shipping and offshore classification society says the Arctic Council has a key role in ensuring shipping is safe in the North.

In its recent report, DNV-GL, a certification and advisory organization, shows the risk for human life is 15 to 30 percent higher in the Arctic, depending on if someone is travelling on a bulk carrier or a cruise ship.

Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, the Maritime President with DNV-GL, says the Arctic Council's international treaty on Arctic search and rescue, as well as the agreement on marine oil pollution, preparedness and response can go a long way towards improving safety in Arctic waters.

"It's very encouraging that the Arctic Council take a lead on this," Ørbeck-Nilssen says.

"Obviously among the Arctic states [it is very] important that they come together and collaborate on some of these issues because it is a very efficient way of sharing some of the big resources needed for emergency operations."

Ørbeck-Nilssen says he is eagerly awaiting the completion of the Polar Code, an international code of safety for ships operating in polar waters.