No unity at climate change meeting in Greenland

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Global warming is a clear and present threat to nature and human communities in the Arctic, Greenland’s premier Hans Enoksen told ministers from the United States, India, China, and 22 other countries, who met last week in Ilulissat.

“Climate change is a ‘hot’ issue in Greenland,” Enoksen said. “We see many changes in our environment, and it affects our traditional way of life. Glaciers are melting and retreating, permafrost is thawing, the ice is thinning, it arrives late and thaws early, the winter offers warm periods, while summers are becoming dry, with deluges of rain. You don’t need to be a scientist to notice these changes.”

The setting in Disco Bay, which was recently added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, was intended to improve the international dialogue on future climate cooperation.

But the talks ended on Friday with a plea from the host to stop arguing and start acting on climate changes.

“The blaming game has to stop,” Denmark’s environment minister Connie Hedegaard, said in a statement after the four-day meeting ended. “Instead of blaming other countries for the lack of action, all governments should present credible visions on how they could make their own fair contribution to combating global climate change.”

Hedegaard said participants agreed that there no longer existed any scientific doubt that global warming existed, and that immediate action was required.

However, U.S. delegate Harlan Watson told the Greenlandic national broadcaster KNR that the U.S. wants to see more scientific evidence about the causes of global warming before curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

“It’s not clear whether human action can stop the changes. We don’t know how much is caused by humans and how much is happening by itself,” Watson told KNR.

Meanwhile, Greenpeace expressed its concern and disappointment about the results of the meeting, saying these reflected the U.S. point of view.

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