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U.S. Refuses Mention Of Climate Change, Arctic Council Meeting Stands Fail

The meeting was supposed to come up with a two-year agenda to balance the challenges of climate change with sustainable development.

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Climate
The foreign ministers pose for a picture during the Arctic Council summit in Rovaniemi on May 7. RFERL

The participants at the Arctic Council meeting in Finland’s far northern town of Rovaniemi have failed to issue a final declaration reportedly due to a U.S. refusal to mention climate change.

At the start of the council’s 11th ministerial meeting, Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini said the final joint declaration was “off the table” and would be replaced by ministerial statements. He provided no explanation.

According to participants, member states were unable to reach an agreement, with the United States alone refusing to mention climate change in the final text.

China
Pompeo also criticized China, which holds observer status, and Russia, slamming their “aggressive behavior” in the Arctic. VOA

Temperatures in the Arctic region are rising twice as fast as in the rest of the world, prompting the accelerated melting of the polar cap and opening huge untapped energy and mineral resources to commercial exploitation.

This is the first time the Arctic Council, which has been holding ministerial meetings every two years since 1996, failed to present a final declaration.

The meeting was supposed to come up with a two-year agenda to balance the challenges of climate change with sustainable development.

“The hang-up here right now is America making it hard to make a final agreement,” Sally Swetzof of the Aleut International Association, one of six organizations representing the Arctic’s indigenous peoples, told the media.

climate change
According to participants, member states were unable to reach an agreement, with the United States alone refusing to mention climate change in the final text. Pixabay

The Arctic Council consists of the United States, Russia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.

In a speech in Rovaniemi on the eve of the meeting, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said President Donald Trump’s administration “shares your deep commitment to environmental stewardship” in the Arctic. But he said collective goals were not always the answer.

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“They are rendered meaningless and even counterproductive as soon as one nation fails to comply,” he said.

Pompeo also criticized China, which holds observer status, and Russia, slamming their “aggressive behavior” in the Arctic. (RFERL)

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Haryana Takes Steps to Curtail Crop Residue Burning by Increasing Maize Crop Area

The state government said that there is a centralised control room where the monitoring is done and the FIRs are registered

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Haryana
Paddy stubble burning incidents in neighbouring states like Haryana have been identified as among the reasons for high pollution levels in the Delhi NCR region during the winter season. Pixabay

Haryana is taking a number of steps to curtail crop residue burning, including diversifying rice area to maize crop and daily monitoring of fire burning incidents.

Paddy stubble burning incidents in neighbouring states like Haryana have been identified as among the reasons for high pollution levels in the Delhi NCR region during the winter season

Haryana has submitted before the National Green Tribunal that it has undertaken a major programme to diversify rice area to growing maize crop by which the target was to achieve water conservation and conservation of ecology. This will, indirectly, also reduce the chances of crop burning residue in rice cultivation area.

The burning locations are monitored by Haryana Space Applications Centre and the alerts are being issued by them to all the stake-holders.

The state government said that there is a centralised control room where the monitoring is done and the FIRs are registered. Dashboard monitoring is also being conducted. Also FIR and minute level monitoring at field level and serving alert messages to other field authorities is also being done.

A special cell has been in place at Directorate of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Haryana with regard to review the status of crop residue burning on daily basis.

Haryana
The burning locations on fields are monitored by Haryana Space Applications Centre and the alerts are being issued by them to all the stake-holders. Pixabay

The Indian Oil Corporation is going to establish ethanol plant in Panipat district and the Haryana government has already notified bio-energy policy.

The government is also carrying out timely supply of crop residue machinery to the farmers. A pilot project is also being taken up for setting up compost units in a cluster of villages. The matter is also being taken up with the Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agriculture University, Hisar.

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Haryana has also selected 10,179 beneficiaries for providing subsidy under the crop residue management scheme. (IANS)