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Secretary Kerry Declares Climate Change a “Fundamental Security Issue”

Secretary_Kerry_Meets_With_Swedish_Prime_Minister_(4)U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Stockholm, Sweden to meet with Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt, and to attend the Arctic Council’s Ministerial Meeting. Yesterday, May 14th, Secretary Kerry made remarks with Prime Minister Reinfeldt that included a very strong statement on the security risks of climate change. His remarks follow the release of the White House’s National Strategy for the Arctic Region, that also included points on the risks of climate change to the region. The full remarks and video of the event are here, and the points on security are below:

I also want to say that we appreciate Sweden’s partnership because these challenges in Europe and North Africa and Central Asia simply do not belong to one nation; they’re shared by all of us and they affect all of us. And at the top of that list of shared challenges which does not get enough attention, and it’s one of the principal reasons that I came here today to share bilateral meetings with the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister but also will travel on to Kiruna to take part in the Arctic Council, a principal challenge to all of us of life and death proportions is the challenge of climate change…

…And we come here to Kiruna with a great understanding of the challenge to the Arctic as the ice melts, as the ecosystem is challenged, the fisheries, and the possibilities of increased commercial traffic as a result of the lack of ice raises a whole set of other issues that we need to face up to. So it’s not just an environmental issue and it’s not just an economic issue. It is a security issue, a fundamental security issue that affects life as we know it on the planet itself, and it demands urgent attention from all of us.

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