Viernes, 20 Octubre, 2017

Trump's climate stance looms over Arctic meeting

Montez Delgado | 14 May, 2017, 13:54

The meeting comes amid new research that climate change is reshaping the arctic much faster than expected, and as Trump administration officials engage in an unusually public debate about whether the United States will remain in the Paris climate agreement.

Donald Trump pledged to renegotiate the accord during last year's USA election campaign, but has wavered on the issue since taking office.

The Fairbanks Declaration was adopted at the meeting by the members of the Arctic Council, which includes countries with territory in the Arctic such as the United States.

A few hundred people chanted slogans and made speeches to protest the presence of U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Fairbanks, Alaska, May 10, 2017.

The Trump administration is in turmoil over whether to fulfill the president's campaign pledge to "cancel" the landmark 2015 agreement among 197 of the world's nations to address climate change, and has postponed a decision on whether to abandon the accord until later this month.

The document also recommends close and coordinated worldwide monitoring of the Arctic's changing climate, a priority that will be enhanced by a legally binding agreement that would ease Arctic research.

"We strongly believe that without significant, sustained and coordinated approaches to addressing the causes of the warming Arctic, our culture - linked so closely to the Porcupine caribou herd - cannot survive", Blake said.

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"No decision is imminent, and in his remarks on Thursday, Mr. Tillerson presented the delay as necessary to gain the viewpoints of parties outside the White House and even outside the United States, including the other Arctic nations", The Times reported.

The US will consider its interests first as it reviews its climate change policy, the secretary of state says.

"The challenges facing the Aleut... are more varied than ever before", said Arlene Gundersen, president of the Aleut International Association (AIA), one of the Arctic Council's permanent indigenous participants.

"We are appreciative that each of you has an important point of view, and you should know that we are taking the time to understand your concerns, " Tillerson said.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson got an earful from governments around the Arctic today - on the topic of climate change.

At the end of the ministerial meeting, acting on behalf of the US which has chaired the Arctic Council since 2015 in Iqaluit, Tillerson handed the Council's symbolic birch wood gavel to Soini.

It puts them in opposition to Nordic countries, which last week emphasised their commitment to the Paris Agreement and noted "with grave concern" the rapid pace of change in the Arctic.

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At the meeting in Fairbanks, the eight nations released a joint statement that cites the Paris accord and calls for global action to reduce greenhouse gases.

Trump will announce his decision regarding the Paris Agreement after attending the Group of Seven Summit in late May.

The Arctic Council, formed in 1996 to co-ordinate global efforts for sustainable development in the Arctic territories, does not typically discuss military or security issues.

"Perhaps our planet would say, I've been your best friend since the industrial revolution", Wallström said.

In addition, the State Department under Tillerson issued - as directed - an approval for the Keystone XL pipeline, and Tillerson himself is an old oil man, coming to the position after decades at the helm of ExxonMobil.

Michael LeVine, a lawyer in Alaska for the nonprofit Oceana, said: "We hope that this declaration is a meaningful step in the evolution of the Trump administration's approach to climate change issues".

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