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United States signs worldwide declaration on climate change despite Trump's past statements

20 May 2017

High-level officials from the.

The New York Times in March reported the Trump administration was split on the Paris agreement, with Tillerson and White House adviser Ivanka Trump urging for the U.S.to stay in.

"We recognize that global warming is the main driver of change in the Arctic", Soini said. "I believe that we will see a continued American engagement and commitment to the Arctic". It will cover both environmental protection and economic development - including oil exploration and shipping made possible by retreating ice. On the website outlining their chairmanship priorities, they say they want to emphasize the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change in the first sentence, which is making a strong point from the get-go.

For Canada and Nordic countries deeply concerned about climate change, the Arctic Council meeting is a chance to lobby Tillerson at a moment when the US decision is at a "stalemate", said Andrew Light, a climate specialist with the World Resources Institute. "I am very confident there will be no change in that regard".

While President Trump has talked tough in the past about his skeptical views on climate change, his administration appears to be taking a more cautious approach to the issue on the world stage in the early days of his presidency.

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The Obama administration had emphasized climate change and scientific research during the two-year US chairmanship.

I think there was probably a missed opportunity in communicating to the US that the country is an Arctic nation. Stotts said, "By using Indigenous Knowledge and science together we ensure a more complete and improved result in the work of the Council". Canada, Russia, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland want the statement to make reference to the Paris accord, while USA officials have reportedly sought to have those references left out.

He spoke Thursday in Fairbanks, Alaska, at a meeting of the Arctic Council, an advisory group made up of the eight Arctic nations and indigenous groups.

"This is a document that was negotiated with the United States holding the pen".

And Arctic cooperation is familiar ground for Tillerson, a former ExxonMobil chief executive who once negotiated oil deals in northern waters with Russia's President Vladimir Putin.

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But in their opening remarks, foreign ministers from the world's eight circumpolar nations confirmed their commitment to keeping the world's geopolitical tensions out of the forum's work, which focuses on environmental issues and sustainable development.

A local tribal leader also pressured Tillerson to act at a celebration of the council on Wednesday. "This place is attractive, and this place is delicate, and what already is happening on in the Arctic will affect the rest of the Earth".

The meeting in Fairbanks marked the end of the U.S.'s two-year rotating role as chairman of the council.

Governor Walker and Secretary Tillerson also discussed the University of Alaska Fairbanks being more of a "University of the Arctic" given its 20 years of involvement in Arctic issues.

The Yukon Government's 2009 Climate Action Plan is just one example of sub-national action, says Herrmann.

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During his confirmation hearing, Tillerson said he had concluded as a scientist and engineer that "the risk of climate change does exist" and that "action should be taken".