Tillerson arrives in Alaska for Arctic meeting


On the agenda are worldwide cooperation on Arctic science, security and economic development.

"In the United States, we are now reviewing several important policies, including how the Trump administration will approach the issue of climate change", Tillerson told heads of states from Arctic governments and tribal councils. "The document will boost the efficiency of academic research about the Arctic".

Lavrov will again be at Tillerson's side Thursday, as the pair present the council a jointly-negotiated motion to ease access to Arctic waters to global climate scientists. "But any negative development may suddenly break the balance".

But she made clear it was important for all Arctic Council countries, including the USA, to acknowledge the Paris accord and the importance of fighting climate change.

The Arctic Institute has released a policy brief airing its concerns about the U.S. Administration's role in the Arctic Council and calling for participation from sub-national actors.

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He meanwhile said clean technologies and energy production are already important businesses for Americans and it would not be easy to reverse the situation.

The Yukon Government's 2009 Climate Action Plan is just one example of sub-national action, says Herrmann. Commandant of the US Coast Guard, Admiral Paul Zukunft, said on May 3 that Washington is concerned about Russia's growing military presence in the Arctic region.

"The biggest thing we are really pushing is to make sure that (during) any negotiations in this meeting, the USA essentially doesn't bully the other Arctic nations or pressure them into taking out language around keeping the Paris agreement", Liakos said.

Harri Mikkola of the FIIA said he understood the "dexterity" used by Soini as a reference to fast reappraisals of the U.S. Arctic policy Finland may be confronted with.

"Climate change has been an ongoing topic of interest for the Arctic Council for many chairmanships going back in time and I foresee that it will continue to be one of the things the Arctic Council focuses on", he said.

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The Arctic Council was set up in 1996 to coordinate actions of the regional countries in the sphere of sustainable development in the Arctic region. It refers to "reiterating the importance of climate science to our understanding of the changing Arctic region and our activities in the Arctic environment". Kauppalehti analyst Martti Kiuru said the Finnish maritime industry looks for "orders without limits" when Russian Federation would increase the use of the energy reserves of the Arctic.

Finland has made it clear that the climate will remain at the heart of the body's deliberations when it takes over the gavel later Thursday-but Washington's position is in limbo. Finnish icebreakers will be used for scientific excursions.

Plans for the upcoming Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting include signing an intergovernmental agreement on strengthening worldwide Arctic scientific cooperation. Six global organizations representing Arctic Indigenous Peoples have permanent participant status. Many European and Asian countries are observers.

Key to that effort, as well as the reason why the Council's ministerial meeting is being held here at all, is the work being done by researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

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