At the Arctic summit, Mike Pompeo’s presentation focused on financial opportunities rather than climate change itself, according to Time. In the Finnish Arctic city of Rovaniemi, Pompeo mentioned how the melting sea ice has become an economic opportunity rather than a crisis.
“Steady reductions in sea ice are opening new naval passageways and new opportunities for trade, potentially slashing the time it takes for ships to travel between Asia and the West by 20 days,” he said in a speech Monday. He continued, “Arctic sea lanes could become the 21st century’s Suez and Panama canals.”
Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini said that there was no joint declaration because the U.S. was unable to agree on a text that included climate change language. The Arctic Council, which includes Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the U.S., instead issued a brief joint statement which reaffirmed a “commitment to maintain peace, stability and constructive co-operation in the Arctic.
On Tuesday, Pompeo said that “the Trump Administration shares your deep commitment to environmental stewardship.”
“The Arctic has always been a fragile ecosystem, and protecting it is indeed our shared responsibility,” Pompeo said.
During the summit, Pompeo defended Trump’s decision to pull out of theParis climate accord in 2017. “Collective goals, even when well-intentioned, are not always the answer,” Pompeo said. “They are rendered meaningless, even counterproductive, as soon as one nation fails to comply.”
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