"Looking Ahead in the Arctic, With the United States on Point"

"An American admiral is in line to lead the eight-nation Arctic Council as a climate steward and a caretaker of the ocean."

"This year is expected to bring a breakthrough for global climate action—and that includes the rapidly warming Arctic.

Starting in April, the United States will take over leadership of the Arctic Council, the intergovernmental body charged with coordinating the eight Arctic states: Canada; Denmark, including Greenland and the Faroe Islands; Finland; Iceland; Norway; Russia; Sweden and the United States—along with a number of observer nations, including China, India, Japan and South Korea. Though the council can't issue policy, it provides the main forum for consensus building in the region, and produces recommendations that the delegates can bring back to their home countries.

Though the United States' tenure is still months away, the incoming head of the council—retired Coast Guard Adm. Robert J. Papp, Jr.—has already indicated in a number of speeches that a drastic shift is coming, and that climate change will be on the council's front burner. Papp, who spent 39 years in the Coast Guard, is Secretary of State John Kerry's pick to represent the country as the special representative to the council. He has said that part of his job will be introducing the U.S. to the Arctic—where it has remained largely absent in policy-making—and introducing the Arctic to the U.S., where there has been a lack of awareness in both public and political spheres."

Sabrina Shankman reports for InsideClimate News    January 5, 2015.

Source: InsideClimate News, 01/06/2015