Quantcast

Obama and Nordic Leaders Agree Economic Activity in Arctic Must Pass Climate Test

Climate

President Obama and leaders from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden agreed on Friday that all future commercial activity in the Arctic will adhere to strict environmental standards and climate goals.

The flags of the United States, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Photo credit: WWF U.S. / Nicky Sundt

This will include oil and gas drilling and is similar to the agreement signed by the U.S. and Canada earlier this year. Denmark and the U.S. also announced a partnership to develop offshore wind.

Here's an excerpt from the U.S.-Nordic leaders’ joint statement:

The leaders recognize that climate change is one of the foremost challenges the world is facing. No effort should be spared in making concrete progress domestically and abroad over the coming decades by shifting to low carbon economies and creating more resilient communities. The United States and the Nordic countries acknowledge the foundational role energy plays in our economies and that energy security is key for overall security.

Building on a history of collaboration, the United States and the Nordic countries commit to strengthening European energy security and to join and implement the Paris Agreement, accelerate the transition to a clean energy future, strengthen adaptation efforts, especially in developing countries, protect and restore forests, and continue to take science-based steps to protect the Arctic and its peoples.

The United States, the Kingdom of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden affirm our commitment to safeguarding the Arctic environment while providing enhanced opportunities for sustainable development for all inhabitants of the Arctic, including indigenous peoples.

The Arctic is rapidly changing and attracting global attention. It is a globally unique region that provides livelihoods for its inhabitants, but is also one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change. Rich with opportunities for transport, tourism, energy, and innovation, the Arctic is characterized by close cooperation on a broad range of issues between the United States and the Nordic Countries, together with our Arctic partners Canada and Russia. Continuing to keep the Arctic region a zone of peace and stability is at the heart of our efforts. We reaffirm the importance of maintaining the Arctic region based on universally recognized principles of international law including those reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The Arctic Council celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, reaffirming its commitment to cooperation and coordination on matters of common interest among the Arctic States and indigenous peoples of the region. As the preeminent high-level forum among the Arctic States, the Arctic Council has proven instrumental in addressing new challenges and opportunities, while retaining a core focus on environmental protection and sustainable development.

The United States and Nordic countries will continue to work actively in the Arctic Council to ensure progress on shared priorities. The work of the current U.S. chairmanship and subsequent Finnish and Icelandic chairmanships will be closely coordinated to ensure effective progress on these priorities.

We will strengthen our work, both within the Arctic and globally, to address the environmental challenges facing the region. We remain committed to managing the region with an ecosystem-based approach, which balances conservation and sustainable use of the environment. We are committed to the pursuit of international and national climate change goals. We will work towards the highest global standards, best international practice, and a precautionary approach, when considering new and existing commercial activities in the Arctic, including oil and gas operations.

The United States and the Nordic countries are committed to recognizing the rights of the indigenous and local peoples and we reaffirm our commitment to the unique role played by Arctic indigenous and local communities and their traditional and local knowledge.

We will advance scientifically based protection and conservation of areas of ecologically important marine, terrestrial and freshwater habitats, taking into account ecological resilience in a changing climate and national and global climate and environmental goals. We are dedicated to promote the active involvement of the people of the Arctic in the management and sustainable use of protected areas.

We are committed to deepen the knowledge and understanding of the Arctic, both inside and outside the region, to strengthen Arctic research and transdisciplinary science, and to encourage cooperation between higher education institutions and society as well as synergies between science and traditional and local knowledge. The Nordic countries welcome the White House Arctic Science Ministerial.

For a deeper dive: E&E NewsWashington PostAPThe Hill, Morning Consult, Reuters

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for daily Hot News.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

With Clean Energy Jobs Booming in Republican Districts, It’s Time to Recalibrate Climate Politics

Shell Oil Spill Dumps Nearly 90,000 Gallons of Crude Into Gulf

Facebook, Microsoft Give Wind and Solar Energy a Big Boost

Global Wave of Resistance to Keep Fossil Fuels in the Ground Escalates

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pixabay

By Claire L. Jarvis

A ruckus over biofuels has been brewing in Iowa.

Read More Show Less
Serena and Venus Williams have been known to follow a vegan diet. Edwin Martinez / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Whitney E. Akers

  • "The Game Changers" is a new documentary on Netflix that posits a vegan diet can improve athletic performance in professional athletes.

  • Limited studies available show that the type of diet — plant-based or omnivorous — doesn't give you an athletic advantage.

  • We talked to experts about what diet is the best for athletic performance.

Packed with record-setting athletes displaying cut physiques and explosive power, "The Game Changers," a new documentary on Netflix, has a clear message: Vegan is best.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
An illegally trafficked tiger skull and pelt. Ryan Moehring / USFWS

By John R. Platt

When it comes to solving problems related to wildlife trade, there are an awful lot of "sticky widgets."

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE

Inflammation can be both good and bad.

On one hand, it helps your body defend itself from infection and injury. On the other hand, chronic inflammation can lead to weight gain and disease.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Dan Nosowitz

It's no secret that the past few years have been disastrous for the American farming industry.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Pexels

By Gavin Van De Walle, MS, RD

Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil and coconut oil are fats that have risen in popularity alongside the ketogenic, or keto, diet.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Bijal Trivedi

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report on Nov. 13 that describes a list of microorganisms that have become resistant to antibiotics and pose a serious threat to public health. Each year these so-called superbugs cause more than 2.8 million infections in the U.S. and kill more than 35,000 people.

Read More Show Less
Rool Paap / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE

Inflammation can be good or bad depending on the situation.

Read More Show Less