«Im in love with the artic nature,» said Senator Hilary Rodham Clinton, after participating in a packed program on Svalbard. «It exceeds my high expectations, which were pretty high to begin with.»
Hillary Rodham Clinton and four senator colleagues saw with their own eyes the climate changes on Svalbard during their visit Sunday and Monday. About 50 meters from the powerful glacier Kongsbreen at NyÅlesund, Olav Orheim, director and glaciological scientist at the Norwegian Polar Institute, told the senators that the glacial apron has retreated four kilometres since 1970.
«The US can no longer deny or ignore that climate changes actually occur,» Clinton said. «This case demand changes, and we are many who are looking for ways to get climate questions higher up on the agenda. «When we have agreed upon the facts, something many in the Senate actually ignore, can we actually agree on what we are going to do about this.»
Want to win
Senator Clinton said she completely supports John McCains bill regarding reducing the American climate gas emissions in 2010 to the level of the emissions in 2000, and to the level of the 1990s in 2016. The bill received 43 of 55 votes in the Senate, but McCain is prepared to introduce the issue again.
«We will win this battle sooner or later,» said the American Senator and former presidential candidate.
The senators were also informed of new findings from the new extensive climate report that will be presented for eight foreign ministers on Island in November. The main conclusion is that the heating of the Arctic Zone occurred twice as fast as the southern areas.
«In some Arctic Zones it is documented an average heating of 4-5 degrees throughout the year,» said Pål Prestrud, head of the Cicero, Center for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo, to the Norwegian news bureau (NTB).
Petersen is pleased
Foreign Minister Jan Petersen is pleased with the visit from five of the most influential American senators. Petersen also used the opportunity to direct attention to the questions regarding the areas in the north like nuclear clean-up on Kola, increasing transportation of oil, and other questions that normally do not get enough attention.
«The climate question is definitely put on the agenda,» Petersen said to NTB. «There is no doubt that we through talks on Svalbard have made an impression on five influential percent of the American senate.»
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