Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson signs Arctic agreement for action on climate change

Tillerson, at Arctic meeting, signs document affirming need for action on climate change, LA Times, William Yardley, 11 May 17, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signed his name Thursday to a document that affirms the need for international action against climate change, adding further uncertainty to the direction of climate policy under the Trump administration.

The document, signed by Tillerson and seven foreign ministers from Arctic nations meeting this week in Fairbanks, Alaska, says the participants 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 Trump administration has been in conflict for months over what to do about U.S. involvement in the landmark 2015 Paris climate accord, which commits nearly 200 nations to establishing goals to reduce emissions that lead to climate change.

Trump has repeatedly questioned climate science, calling climate change a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese and vowing during his campaign to “cancel” the Paris agreement……..

Tillerson, the former chief executive of Exxon, is among those who have argued that the U.S. should keep its commitment.

The Fairbanks Declaration does not affirm that the U.S. will honor the Paris accord. Nor does it explicitly state that human activity is causing climate change.

And Tillerson’s spoken remarks at the meeting made clear that the administration is divided. After vowing that the U.S. would “continue to be vigilant in protecting the fragile environment in the Arctic,” Tillerson said this about current U.S. climate policy:

“In the United States, we are currently reviewing several important policies, including how the Trump administration will approach the issue of climate change. We’re appreciative that each of you has an important point of view and you should know that we are taking the time to understand your concerns. We’re not going to rush to make a decision. ……..

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.

The Fairbanks Declaration includes several other references to climate change and taking action to mitigate it or adapt to it. It refers to “reiterating the importance of climate science to our understanding of the changing Arctic region and our activities in the Arctic environment.”……http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-arctic-council-20170511-story.html

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May 13, 2017 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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