Dismay in the far north over Trump's Paris pullout

Tuesday, 27 June 2017, 03:32:12 PM. Optimism about climate action has evaporated, says a Shishmaref teen who served as an Arctic youth ambassador. Foreign ministers from Nordic nations share similar sentiments.
Less than two years ago, when Esau Sinnok traveled to Paris from the tiny and rapidly eroding Inupiat village of Shishmaref in northwestern Alaska, he had reason for optimism. Sinnok, then a high school senior and one of 22 Arctic Youth Ambassadors appointed by the Obama administration to represent the United States during its two-year Arctic Council chairmanship, carried a message from his village that he believes was heard in Paris. There, at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, the United States and other nations signed an agreement to reduce carbon emissions and slow global warming. Esau Sinnok lives in Shishmaref. (Courtesy U.S. Department of Interior) "It felt good that they achieved that … having all those big nations, over 190 nations, signing onto the agreement," Sinnok said. Now, with President Donald Trump on Thursday announcing that the United States will pull out of the agreement, much of that optimism is gone, said Sinnok, now 19 and a student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. "It just shows us that the current administration doesn't really care about us, about Native people, about Alaska, about climate change," he said. "This really tells us what they think about us." The situation is particularly devastating for imperiled Shishmaref, which has become an icon of Arctic warming, Sinnok said. There, and in other far-north indigenous communities, thawing permafrost, newly open waters lacking sea ice and bigger storm surges have combined to eat away...Read more
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