US Joins Arctic Council In Calling For Action To Curb Climate Change

20 May, 2017, 11:31 | Author: Oscar Goodwin

"We have a venue that has been doing very well in promoting worldwide co-operation among all the eight nations, including Russian Federation", said David Balton, the senior State Department official on environmental issues in the Arctic. Trump has dismissed the science backing climate change and proposed to open the American Arctic to oil and gas drilling.

So, in short, it is far too early to conclude that the White House has suddenly been persuaded by mainstream scientific opinion on global warming - and with United States politics in astonishing flux, the Fairbanks Declaration may be no more than a holding statement.

Protesters gathered in a city park nearby to denounce the presence of Tillerson, who is the former president of Exxon Mobil Corp.

The members signed a document "noting the entry into force of the Paris agreement on climate change and its implementation, and reiterating the need for global action to reduce both long-lived greenhouse gases and short-lived climate pollutants".

No part of the world is warming faster than the Arctic.

"We've been fishing thousands of years and we've been hunting for thousands of years in Alaska", he said, expressing concern that future generations will not be able to feed themselves.

"Climate change has been an ongoing topic of interest for the Arctic Council for many chairmanships going back in time and I foresee that it will continue to be one of the things the Arctic Council focuses on", he said.

Finland is also emphasizes the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change and the United Nations sustainable development goals, something representatives of eight Arctic Indigenous groups, or Permanent Participants, of the Arctic Council, praised during their remarks. "The U.S. chairmanship expanded the role of the Council and the Permanent Participants - we are moving from policy shaping to policy making and to this end, ICC believes the U.S. has made progress by supporting the peoples of the north and supporting effective policy development during their chairmanship".

It's an important trip for Finland, which takes over the rotating two-year chairmanship of the council at a delicate time in worldwide politics. "We'd heard ... that there would likely be a significant U.S. effort to redline or even remove entirely the Paris and climate language", said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the talks.

Tillerson, a former ExxonMobile CEO, spoke to the plenary session about US policy on climate change going forward. Assemble the foreign ministers of Russian Federation, the United States and Canada, and those are just a few areas rife for fireworks.

Tillerson arrived late Wednesday afternoon in Fairbanks.

"My message for Rex Tillerson is: Alaska shouldn't be for sale for what's in our earth", Hannah Hill, 36, who works at a Fairbanks soup kitchen, said to the Associated Press.

Chairmanship of the Council rotates between the member states Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States every two years, and the Foreign Ministers of the twenty-year-old Council meet at the conclusion of each term or rotation to review where policies stand, and lay out prospects for the next two years. "This place is attractive, and this place is delicate, and what already is happening on in the Arctic will affect the rest of the Earth".

After the rally, the protesters marched behind a sign reading, "Welcome to the frontline of climate change", to the building where the Arctic Council welcoming celebration was being held. Nor does it explicitly state that human activity is causing climate change.

Tillerson tackled the issue head-on.

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