No Arctic Council deal after USA chooses not to sign on

The Arctic Council consisting of the United States, Canada, Russia, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Iceland met last week but failed to sign an agreement at the United States’ refusal to agree to wording over climate change. Climate alarmists claim temperatures in the Arctic are rising at twice the rate of the rest of the globe resulting in melting ice that has increased the potential for commercial exploitation of untapped oil and gas reserves.

The Council met in Rovaniemi in northern Finland on Tuesday to frame a two-year agenda to balance the challenges of climate change with sustainable development. Two diplomatic sources said the US balked at signing an agreement over disagreement with wording in the declaration stating that climate change was a serious threat to the Arctic. Finland's Foreign Minister Timo Soini said the joint declaration was "off the table" and would be replaced by a short statement from ministers attending the conference.

Addressing the Council, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said President Donald Trump's administration "shares your deep commitment to environmental stewardship" in the Arctic. These agreements between countries are non-binding and Secretary Pompeo said collective goals were not always the answer, "They are rendered meaningless and even counter-productive as soon as one nation fails to comply.”

President Trump has frequently expressed scepticism about whether global warming is a result of human activity and has stood by his 2017 decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord signed by almost 200 governments in 2015.

In her address to the Council, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said, "A climate crisis in the Arctic is not a future scenario, it is happening as we speak."