Rovaniemi, FINLAND -- Speaking at the kick off of the 11th Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic Council Monday afternoon, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo touted efforts by the United States to reduce environmental damage through free markets and technology.
"The facts already speak for themselves: America is the world’s leader in caring for the environment. Our energy-related CO2 emissions fell by 14% between 2005 and 2017, while the rest of the world’s rose by more than 20 percent. Our black carbon emissions are down 16% since 2013 and on track to drop by nearly half by 2025, the best of any Arctic country. It isn’t clear that Russia, meanwhile, is reducing emissions at all, despite being the largest emitter of black carbon in the Arctic," Pompeo said to a room full of diplomats, officials and reporters. "We’re achieving our reductions the American way: through scientific and technological innovation that enhances our energy security and our economic growth, rather than stifling development through burdensome regulations."
"President Trump is committed to leveraging resources in environmentally responsible ways. He knows this white expanse can also be green," he continued. "Our Administration helped our fellow Arctic states seal the Central Arctic Fisheries Agreement. It was one of the first times in history that a region banded together to preemptively solve a threat to its resources."
On the way to the ministerial, Pompeo told reporters onboard United States Air Force C-32A that while the Paris Climate Accord is "flowery talk," America is working beyond the agreement and leading the way on clean environmental practices.
"This was central conundrum of the Paris Agreement is there were no triggers, there were penalties, there were no incentives, there was literally flowery talk and you can see the Paris Agreement is how many years old and you can see it's effectiveness. We're focused on the outcome. We want to make sure we're doing things that keep drinking water clean, clean air, those are the things that matter. So that's the argument we will continue to make," Pompeo said. "America uses technology, the private sector to drive these improved outcomes, healthier conditions fore people in home countries...they can choose to have more meeting and to sign more agreements but their citizens won't live better loves, healthier lives...if you live in a government controlled state that will mean mandates that aren't fullfilled, with corruption. If you drive it through the private sector technology, just look it up, it's why Israel figures out how to cheaply desalinate water. It's no mistake that this happens in a Democracy and free market system. Those mechanisms that drive better health conditions broadly."
During his remarks, Pompeo also warned about China and how the country's disregard for the environment could have a devastating impact on the Arctic.
"Let’s ask ourselves: Do we want the Arctic Ocean to transform into a new South China Sea, fraught with militarization and competing territorial claims? Do we want the fragile Arctic environment exposed to the same ecological devastation caused by China’s fishing fleet in the seas off its coast, or unregulated industrial activity in its own country?" he said. "The answers should be clear."