All I can do is laugh…
“For the first time in the history of the Council, the Council is not getting a joint final declaration. The Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini, who hosted the meeting, started the meeting by making a change to the agenda of the meeting, in which the joint declaration was removed. In the background, there is controversy over the whole purpose of the Arctic Council and the role of action against climate change in the work of the Council.”
Pompeo emphasized region’s resources
In a move that angered environmentalists, Pompeo’s speech focused on the potential economic benefits of the Arctic’s natural resources, saying the United States was committed to “environmentally responsible” exploitation of what he called the region’s “opportunity and abundance.”
“I feel like I got a slap in the face,” CEO of WWF Finland – an official observer organisation at the Arctic Council – Liisa Rohweder told Yle News after listening to Pompeo call the Arctic Council’s focus on scientific, cultural and environmental issues a “luxury” it can no longer afford.
Greenpeace Nordic’s Polar Adviser Dr Laura Meller told Yle News: “It seems that paving the way for heavy extraction of natural resources is still a driving motive for many governments, despite talk about climate change and protecting nature becoming more pronounced.”
But according to Meller, the US is not alone in looking to take advantage of the region’s natural resources: “The Norwegian government wants to open new oil fields in Arctic waters, and the Finnish government has tried to push an Arctic railway connection forward.”
“Oil exploration and logging of northern forests are not compatible with the goal of preventing dangerous climate change, and governments must decide which is their priority,” she said.