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At a meeting of Foreign Ministers from all the Arctic Nations held Monday and Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refused to sign a previously negotiated declaration of support by the nations for their joint strategy and cooperation plan in this key region because it involved working to address climate change impacts in the region. In a speech to the intergovernmental organization called the Arctic Council, Pompeo instead took an aggressive stance on the race for Arctic resources stating that “[t]his is America’s moment to stand up as an Arctic nation….[t]he region has become an arena of global power and competition,” according to The New York Times.
CNN late yesterday reported that the Administration denied that the U.S.refused to sign the previously agreed statement, arguing that the meeting was a big success and pointing to the one-page joint statement that eventually all the nations agreed to, which did not mention climate change.
Pompeo was there apparently there to make a point about China’s Arctic ambitions, which he sees as an unwelcome force in the Arctic — the Chinese are active in the Arctic Council as observers.
The Times reported that “Gao Feng, the head of the Chinese delegation to the Council, said Mr. Pompeo’s speech signaled the start of ‘a new bad era.’ ‘I’m not happy,’ he said immediately after the speech. ‘It’s a country that stepped out of the Paris Agreement and then they’re talking about protecting the environment of the Arctic.’
According to the Associated Press, Pompeo did briefly discuss conservation during the meeting, saying that “the Trump Administration shares your deep commitment to environmental stewardship,” and that protecting the Arctic is a “shared responsibility.” The Times reported Pompeo then went on to tout the region as a land of “opportunity and abundance,” and cited its untapped reserves of oil, gas, uranium, gold, fish, and rare earth minerals, as well as new shipping routes now available due to sea ice melting.
On Monday, The New York Times (NYT) and The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) published extensive editorials on the climate provisions of President Biden’s American Jobs Plan. The two headlines say it all. The NYT’s read “Trump Abandoned the Climate. This Is Biden’s Moment,” while the WSJ’s called the plan “The Green New Deal, In Disguise.” […]
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer Ahead of President Biden’s virtual Earth Day climate summit, more than 300 businesses and investors are urging the president to set ambitious 2030 emissions goals. Since rejoining the Paris agreement on his first day in office, Biden’s administration has yet to release an updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) but has promised to do so before […]
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer Last Thursday, Congresswoman Teresa Leger Fernández (D-NM) introduced the Orphaned Wells Cleanup and Jobs Act of 2021 which would authorize nearly $8 billion in grant funding for abandoned oil and gas well cleanup projects across the nation. Methane emissions from abandoned wells threaten to derail President Biden’s climate goals, but dozens of […]
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