The Trump administration just actually admitted that climate change is a problem

15 Mai, 2017, 23:37 | Author: Claudine Rigal

Tillerson was in Fairbanks to chair a meeting of the Arctic Council, which brings together nations and indigenous groups from around the region.

An anonymous State Department official noted that the Fairbanks Declaration does not mean that the Trump administration will work to curb carbon emissions.

Donald Trump, in his presidential campaign, described climate change as a Chinese hoax, but since then there has been a huge debate raging inside the administration about whether to pull out of the Paris treaty, signed in 2015, or to lower the level of United States commitments.

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, said climate change was the first thing she looked for when given a copy of the declaration.

President Trump has repeatedly said he would "cancel" the Paris climate agreement and has denied that climate change is a real, existential problem.

While Tillerson endorsed the Arctic Council document, he cautioned that the US would not be rushed into formulating its policy.

The Fairbanks proclamation says that "the Arctic is warming at more than twice the rate of the global average, resulting in widespread social, environmental, and economic impacts", and notes "the pressing and increasing need for mitigation and adaptation actions and to strengthen resilience".

The declaration pointed to such activities, and said signatories recognized "that activities taking place outside the Arctic region, including activities occurring in Arctic States, are the main contributors to climate change effects and pollution in the Arctic, and underlining the need for action at all levels".

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As the eight Arctic states reflect on the US Chairmanship and welcome the incoming Finnish Chair, Jim Stotts ICC Alaska President offered, "We must note that the results of all of the work done during the USA chairmanship would have benefitted greatly from an earlier involvement of the Permanent Participants during project planning stages and through the use of Indigenous Knowledge".

Tillerson passed a birchwood gavel to Finland's Foreign Minister Timo Soini, ending two years of the USA chairing the council.

Tillerson's signature took some State Department officials aback because he's yet to give any indication as to whether the us will stay in the Paris pact, Reuters news agency reported, citing an anonymous source at the department. That non-binding worldwide agreement went into effect a year ago and calls for countries to set goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

"Climate change in the Arctic is not just an environmental issue, it is a matter of culture and our right to exist as Indigenous People".

"We are fortunate to have a Secretary of State who is familiar with Alaska and knows just how close we are to neighboring countries that are building up their military presence in our waters and skies", Governor Walker said. "It does not obligate the U.S.to enforce it".

"The Arctic states, permanent participants, and observers to the Arctic Council should individually and collectively lead global efforts for an early, ambitious, and full implementation of the [Paris Agreement]", the report urged.

Sources told CNN that Trump is increasingly unsure how withdrawing from the Paris climate accord would affect the United States, both legally and in its dealings with foreign leaders - several whom are actively lobbying the administration to stay in the deal.

"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.

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