US signs climate change declaration

US signs climate change declaration

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday signed [press release] the Fairbanks Declaration [text] to affirm protection of the arctic climate. The move was a part of the 10th Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting [official website], with goals to maintain peace, stability and constructive cooperation in the Arctic. The signing of the declaration included reaffirming the threat of climate change and a promise to work together to solve issues facing the Arctic region.

Note again that the Arctic is warming at more than twice the rate of the global average, note with concern that the pace and scale of continuing Arctic warming will depend on future emissions of greenhouse gases and short-lived climate pollutants, reiterate the importance of global action to reduce both greenhouse gases and short-lived climate pollutants to mitigate climate change, and call for the Arctic Council to undertake additional analyses to contribute to the assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and continued collaboration with all levels of governments

The measure is not binding on the US or any partner.

Climate concerns and solutions are still a contested issue. The US Senate on Tuesday rejected [JURIST report] a measure that would rollback methane gas regulations. The Trump administration in March asked [JURIST report] the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to postpone ruling on the Obama administration’s climate change regulations. Also in March, US President Donald Trump signed [JURIST report] an executive order reforming the previous administration’s energy policies. UN human rights experts called [JURIST report] on global leaders in February to take urgent action on air pollution to ensure world citizens enjoy what the UN calls “the human rights to life and health in environments free from contamination.”