Pompeo: US Will "Fortify" Military Presence In Arctic

Pompeo: US Will

The US official also revealed that America will increase its presence in the region in order to counter Russian Federation and China.

Back then, negotiations on the wording of the meeting's final statement went down to the wire as the United States refused to sign off on a document mentioning the Paris climate accord, although then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson did eventually sign the text - Paris accords included.

Pompeo did not use the phrase "climate change" in his remarks. "Steady reductions in sea ice are opening new passageways and new opportunity for trade".

Pompeo's speech at the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting in Finland, which ran to 2400 words, failed to once mention "climate change".

Bill Erasmus, the chairman of the Arctic Athabaskan Council, a Canada-based group of indigenous people, expressed disappointment that a joint declaration had not been reached.

"We recognize Russian Federation is not the only country making illegitimate claims", he said referring to Canada. He spoke of "steady reductions in sea ice" but did not address the cause, focusing instead on the opportunity those reductions present. Mr Pompeo argued if China continues its current trend, the Arctic will become the next South China Sea.

Meanwhile, Pompeo also reiterated U.S. claims to be "the world's leader in caring for the environment", saying it would take the lead in the Arctic as well. Asked about the omission in an interview with a Finnish newspaper, Pompeo said, "My view on this and President Trump's view on this is what we should put all our emphasis on is outcomes". "We can call it whatever we like, but I shared some of the data in the speech".

Pompeo noted that in response to Russia's activities, the United States is adding to its forces in the Arctic, conducting military exercises, rebuilding its ice-breaking fleet and creating a senior military position for Arctic affairs. He rejected China's assertion that it is a "near-Arctic nation".

According to the statistics he presented, US energy-related Carbon dioxide emissions fell by 14% between 2005 and 2017, while global energy-related Carbon dioxide emissions increased more than 20%.

USA carbon dioxide emissions are "on track to drop by almost half by 2025, the best of any Arctic country", he said.

"I'm sure it was a good party", Pompeo said of the negotiations in Paris. But at the end of the day, what matters to human health, what matters to the citizens of the world, is that we actually have an impact on improving health.

Pompeo also took a swipe at Ottawa during his speech when discussing the Northwest Passage, a waterway Canada considers internal waters, and that the USA considers worldwide waters. "(Because) even when there are turbulence or uncertainties, the Arctic Council says "let's keep this out" because we have certain common interests, to have some solid ground. He said the rule of law must prevail for the Arctic to remain peaceful, and he criticized China and Russian Federation for what he said were coercive practices that would destabilize the "high North" if allowed.

Canada's Freeland said recent scientific studies that indicate temperatures could increase in Canada's Arctic by 11 degrees Celsius (52 degrees Fahrenheit) are "terrifying" and that "we have a responsibility to be part of a collective solution".

"There are different tones with which different countries want to approach climate change", Finland's Arctic Ambassador Aleksi Harkonen said.

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