Alexa

Norway to invite US politicians to observe climate change in Arctic

Norway to invite US politicians to observe climate change in Arctic

Norway plans to invite U.S. politicians to the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard to see the effects of climate change with their own eyes, the foreign minister said Wednesday.
"Our experience is that it has a good effect to invite decision-makers and give them the opportunity to see the effects of global warming themselves," Jonas Gahr Stoere said.
In a phone interview with The Associated Press, Stoere said the world needs the U.S., which has not ratified the Kyoto treaty on climate change, to be involved in efforts to tackle global warming and other environmental challenges.
He said the Norwegian Embassy in Washington was compiling a list of politicians and their aides who could be invited to Svalbard, a Norwegian territory 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) from the North Pole. No names had been decided on yet.
The foreign minister said Svalbard and the polar regions are experiencing global warming more intensely than most places around the globe. Glaciers are melting and fjords are ice-free for the first time, creating problems for polar bears and other animals.
Norway chairs the Arctic Council from 2006-2008, which Stoere said was a good reason to invite politicians to learn more about the effects of global warming in the Arctic.
He said he had noticed intense interest in environmental issues among many American politicians even though President George W. Bush's administration does not support the Kyoto treaty, which commits industrial nations to cut emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases.
The U.S. administration says emission caps would damage the energy-intensive U.S. economy, and says it has devoted US$29 billion (euro22 billion) over five years to research on climate and on clean-energy technology.
Stoere said he hopes Congress will show more interest in climate change when the Democrats take over in January, but also noted that many Republican politicians are concerned about the environment, such as Senator John McCain and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
In 2004 McCain and fellow senator Hillary Clinton visited Svalbard at the invitation of former Foreign Minister Jan Petersen.


Updated : 2021-03-03 11:35 GMT+08:00