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Fri May 10, 2019, 04:53 AM

As the ice goes, Arctic nations find their bonds are tested

In the end, the eight nations of the Arctic Council signed a short statement, affirming their commitment to peace and cooperation. But two major issues loomed over the Arctic Council meeting in Finland this week, and they pull at the seams of Arctic unity.

Arctic Council meetings have always ended with a long declaration. The one signed in Fairbanks in 2017 had 46 points, acknowledging shared values, goals and concerns. But this year the countries couldn’t reach a unanimous agreement on a declaration. The holdout was the United States.

“The Trump administration shares your deep commitment on environmental stewardship,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the Council.

But, according to multiple news outlets, Pompeo couldn’t accept what the draft declaration said about climate change. The document wasn’t made public, though you can get a good idea by reading the Finnish minister’s statement. He said most of the countries agreed climate change is a fundamental challenge for the Arctic and affirmed the work of the Paris agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Read more: https://www.alaskapublic.org/2019/05/09/as-the-ice-goes-arctic-nations-find-their-bonds-are-tested/

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