U.S. sinks Arctic accord due to climate change differences - diplomats - Reuters
Front row from left, Foreign Ministers of Norway, Ine Eriksen Soreide, Russia, Sergey Lavrov, Sweden, Margot Wallstrom, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Finland’s Timo Soini, Canada’s Chrystia Freeland, Denmark’s Anders Samuelsen and Iceland’s Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson pose for a picture during the Arctic Council summit at the Lappi Areena in Rovaniemi, Finland May 7, 2019.
Mandel Ngan/Pool via REUTERS
The United States has refused to sign an agreement on challenges in the Arctic due to discrepancies over climate change wording, diplomats said on Tuesday, jeopardising cooperation in the polar region at the sharp edge of global warming.
With Arctic temperatures rising at twice the rate of the rest of the globe, the melting ice is creating potential new shipping lanes and has opened much of the world’s last untapped reserves of oil and gas to commercial exploitation .
A meeting of eight nations bordering the Arctic in Rovaniemi in Finland on Tuesday was supposed to frame a two-year agenda to balance the challenge of global warming with sustainable development of mineral wealth.
But sources with knowledge of the discussions said the United States balked at signing a final declaration as it disagreed with wording that climate change was a serious threat to the Arctic.
It was the first time a declaration had been cancelled since the Arctic Council was formed in 1996.