Arctic Council Affirms Need for International Action Against Climate Change
Foreign ministers from Arctic nations meeting this week in Fairbanks, Alaska, concluded their meeting “noting the entry into force of the Paris agreement on climate change and its implementation, and reiterating the need for global action to reduce both long-lived greenhouse gases and short-lived climate pollutants.”
Called the Fairbanks Declaration, the document says the leaders signed it “recognizing 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”
The U.S.’ Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signed the document, which affirms the need for international action against climate change. In addition to the U.S. and Sweden, the other council nations are Russia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Iceland. The council also includes six indigenous groups and formal observers from non-Arctic countries.
No part of the world is warming faster than the Arctic.
Summer sea ice regularly shrinks to record lows, coastlines are eroding and wildfires are getting worse. Even the frozen tundra, a critical natural storage tank for carbon emissions, is no longer so frozen. Scientists reported this week that it is warming so rapidly that it now is emitting more carbon than it captures.
Sea ice extent has shrunk to record lows this year and will likely continue to do so, a March 2017 NASA report shows.