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RELEASE: With US-Nordic Leaders Summit, President Obama Has Opportunity to Make Lasting Impact on Safeguarding Arctic from Climate Change

Washington, D.C. — President Barack Obama will host the leaders of five Nordic countries this week for a summit to cut their nations’ greenhouse gas emissions and inspire ambitious climate change action. The summit is an opportunity for President Obama to continue the streak of climate-related agreements made over the past few years and set a course for avoiding dangerous Arctic warming tipping points.

The Center for American Progress has released a column today that outlines what a successful outcome of the Nordic summit would look like.

“President Obama’s climate legacy has been built on more than just the Paris climate agreement,” said Cathleen Kelly, CAP Senior Fellow and author of the column. “His administration has negotiated important and innovative agreements between countries such as Canada, Argentina, and China, which will have a lasting impact on combating climate change. The president has an opportunity to continue that streak with the five Nordic countries and take meaningful steps to safeguard the Arctic, one of the most vulnerable areas in the world to the effects of climate change.”

The joint statement that follows the summit should include pledges to accomplish many climate goals, the most important of which are:

  • Implementing the Paris Agreement
  • Setting a world-class standard for approving Arctic commercial activity—including shipping, fishing, and oil and gas exploration and development—that supports national and global climate change goals
  • Creating low-impact Arctic shipping corridors to safeguard important ecological and cultural areas and reduce the risks of heavy fuel oil use and black carbon emissions from Arctic shipping
  • Reducing methane emissions, including from the oil and gas sector
  • Accelerating renewable energy development and innovation through initiatives such as Mission Innovation and the Clean Energy Ministerial
  • Adopting a Montreal Protocol hydrofluorocarbon phasedown amendment in 2016 and increasing financial support to developing countries to help them implement a phasedown
  • Expanding the use of public financing to leverage private-sector investment in low-carbon and resilient economic growth in developing countries
  • Expanding offshore wind energy development
  • Launching an initiative to determine the amount of Arctic permafrost, sea ice, glaciers, and the Greenland ice sheet that must be preserved to avoid crossing dire climate change thresholds
  • Curbing black carbon pollution in the Arctic
  • Halting all new lease sales for offshore oil and gas development in the U.S. Arctic

Click here to read the column.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Tom Caiazza at or 202.481.7141.