On April 24 representatives of countries who are members or observers of the Arctic Council gathered on Canada’s Baffin Island for the Council’s biennial meeting. Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States are members of the Arctic Council. Created in 1996, the Arctic Council is an international organization designed to foster cooperation among the countries with claims to the Arctic. This year the U.S. assumed the Council’s chairmanship, which rotates among its members every two years. Canada previously chaired the Council, whose decisions are made by consensus, and shepherded an agreement among Council members to cooperate in responding to oil spills in the Arctic. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who led the U.S. delegation, emphasized the threat of climate change to the Arctic and noted that the Council’s member states and observers account for 60 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Today we have two new student blog posts on my parallel blog at: http:www.globalenvironmentallaw.com. To view them click on the “Students” tab at the top of the opening webpage. The theme of the student blog posts today is fossil fuels. David Maher discusses New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s recent settlement with ExxonMobil for the cleanup of oil contamination from its refinery operations in Bayonne, New Jersey. Trey Hilberg discusses the problem of phasing out fossil fuel subsidies in various countries.