March 21, 2014

"Nowhere are the impacts of climate change more evident and staggering than in the Arctic."

Center for American Progress "The region—which encompasses 17 percent of the globe and is almost one and a half times the size of the United States—is warming two times faster than any other region on Earth." by Anne Shoup

'Today, after Secretary of State John Kerry called climate change in the Arctic “one of the most obvious shared challenges facing the planet today,” the Center for American Progress released an analysis detailing why the United States needs to take the lead on reining in climate change in the Arctic and globally and addressing the environmental, economic, and national security implications of warming in the High North.

'Secretary Kerry has an immediate opportunity to implement his new climate change Policy Guidance as he begins setting priorities now for his upcoming leadership position as the 2015–2017 Arctic Council Chair. In this role, he can drive an ambitious agenda focused on putting the brakes on climate change by cutting black carbon and methane emissions and promoting renewable energy use. As part of this agenda, Secretary Kerry should seek to conserve invaluable Arctic marine and coastal environments and promote sustainable Arctic development that will boost the resilience and prosperity of Arctic communities.

'“Focusing on new commercial opportunities in a melting Arctic without recognizing the catastrophic consequences of Arctic warming is akin to refinancing your home as it burns to the ground,” said Cathleen Kelly, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. “As the driving force behind the growing commercial interests and environmental and safety threats in the region, and escalating damages and costs of floods, droughts, heat waves, and other extreme weather events around the globe, climate change must be at the center of the U.S. Arctic Council agenda when Secretary Kerry becomes the Chairman in 2015.”'

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