US climate objections sink Arctic Council accord US objections to wording on climate change prevented Arctic nations signing a joint statement at a summit in Finland, delegates said. It is the first time such a statement has been cancelled since the Arctic Council was set up in 1996. A Finnish delegate, Timo Koivurova, said "the others felt they could not water down climate change sentences". There is international concern that Arctic temperatures are rising twice as fast as in the rest of the world. On Monday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed the forum in Rovaniemi, northern Finland, with a speech welcoming the melting of Arctic sea ice, rather than expressing alarm about it. "Steady reductions in sea ice are opening new passageways and new opportunities for trade," he said. "This could potentially slash the time it takes to travel between Asia and the West by as much as 20 days." Good Lord. You need to get these idiots out.