US Arctic Report Card is incomplete without tackling solutions

Washington, D.C., 14 December 2021

In an article in The Hill co-authored by Durwood Zaelke of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development (IGSD), the writers say that "The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is expected to release its 2021 Arctic Report Card this week, covering topics from loss of sea ice to thawing permafrost and wildfires.Although the science behind the report card will be impeccable, the report itself will deserve no better grade than an “incomplete” if it fails to discuss measures to protect the Arctic".

They point out that "The Arctic plays an essential role regulating the global climate. But as past NOAA’s Report Cards show, the Arctic is unraveling rapidly. It's no longer enough to measure and observe the ticking climate time bomb at the top of the world. International policy-makers, starting with the United States and the seven other countries of the Arctic Council, need to focus on how to protect this crucial region’s role in preventing climate destabilization".

The article concludes that world leaders should not sign off on NOAA’s Arctic Report Card without taking a hard look at its findings. They must initiate a process to define the Arctic we need for a safe climate, and then develop all-of-government and global strategies to get us there.

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