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As U.S. Takes Reins Of Arctic Council, Climate Change Will Top Agenda

The United States says climate change will be front and center on the agenda of the Arctic Council – the intergovernmental body made up of eight countries with territories in the region.

The U.S. is now chair of the council, which includes Russia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

Founded in 1996, the council’s purpose is to promote cooperation in the region. They are not policymakers, but do advise governments on issues related to the Arctic.

Professor Michael Byers of the University of British Columbia, who is author of “ International Law and the Arctic,” follows the Arctic Council’s work closely.

He tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson about the big issues facing the council right now and whether tensions between the U.S. and Russia might affect their work in the forum.


  • Michael Byers, professor of global politics at the University of British Columbia, and author of “International Law and the Arctic.”

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