May 7, 2019 11:51 am

Canada stands by Arctic climate goals as U.S. eyes melting ice as economic opportunity

WATCH ABOVE: Pompeo warns of Russia, China activities in Arctic, says Canada's claim over Northwest Passage 'illegitimate'

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MONTREAL – Canada is holding out hope it can collaborate with the Trump administration on Arctic challenges even though the United States has blocked the Arctic Council from issuing a unanimous declaration acknowledging climate change.

READ MORE: Canada’s claim to Northwest Passage is ‘illegitimate’: Mike Pompeo

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declined to utter the words “climate change” throughout the eight-country summit of Arctic nations that wrapped Tuesday in Finland, including in a meeting with Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland.

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The American opposition to acting on climate change was not all-encompassing, though, because the Trump administration views melting Arctic ice to be an economic opportunity.

Pompeo says it will open new sea lanes and trade routes, slashing ships’ travel time between Europe and Asia.

READ MORE: Arctic’s melting permafrost could cost the global economy nearly $70 trillion: study

Foreign Minister Timo Soini of Finland, which ended its two-year chairmanship of the council on Tuesday, said no joint declaration was possible because the U.S. would not agree to language about climate change.

Freeland did not back away from discussing climate change, but she tried to find common ground with the U.S. over the sovereignty of the Northwest Passage.

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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