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

High-level officials from th. Secretary Tillerson introduced Governor Walker during the 10 Ministerial of the Arctic Council luncheon. High-level officials from the world's eight Arctic nations, including T.

"The question of the US view of the Paris agreement is still under consideration within the USA government", David Balton, the State Department official in charge of USA participation in the Arctic Council, told reporters this week.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will lead the gathering but he won't have many answers for his fellow foreign ministers.

The council adopted a nine-page "Fairbanks Declaration 2017", which noted that the Arctic is warming at more than twice the rate of the global average. But in an interview with The New York Times shortly after the election, Trump said he was still developing a position on the Paris Agreement.

Tillerson signed the document.

He initially planned to make a final decision on the agreement before attending the G7 summit later this month, but postponed that deadline at Tillerson's request, a White House official told CNN earlier this week. "We're going to work to make the right decision for the United States", he said.

There were also fears that wider geopolitical tensions will develop in the Arctic as the US, Russia and China battle for oil and gas resources likely to be opened up by the melting of icecaps and unfreezing of waters.

The United State chaired the council for the last two years and turned the chairmanship over to Finland on Thursday.

"If we have the United States and Russian Federation that are not really sharing the view that it is happening or how much it is man-made, it is hard to proceed", he said.

The Trump administration has indicated it will decide whether to remain in the Paris agreement within weeks. "And I think that sounds reasonable to do so". On the website outlining their chairmanship priorities, they say they want to emphasize the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change in the first sentence, which is making a strong point from the get-go.

"Perhaps our planet would say, I've been your best friend since the industrial revolution", Wallström said. "The Arctic Council will continue to be an important platform as we deliberate on these issues".

The council meets every two years to tackle climate change and other problems facing the North.

In another agreement reached Thursday, the eight countries agreed to facilitate access by scientists and their equipment and materials to identified Arctic areas and research facilities. "They can not be solved one by one, or in isolation", said Soini.

"We know that climate change is having a powerful impact and we believe that only concerted worldwide action is going to do what it takes to fight climate change".

But, of course, it's a new era now, and under the Trump administration, Arctic-watchers have been waiting with bated breath to see if Tillerson would undermine efforts to address climate change.

A local tribal leader also pressured Tillerson to act at a celebration of the council on Wednesday. Tillerson, a former chief executive of Exxon Mobil, is one of Trump's advisers who supports staying in the agreement.

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

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