Sweden sends US climate whistleblower to UN talks

Journalists and member of delegations attend an event at the COP 23 United Nations Climate Change Conference on November 13, 2017 in Bonn, Germany. (Lukas Schulze/Getty Images)
Joel Clement resigned from his US government job in protest against the change in climate policy. Now Sweden is paying for him to present the Arctic Resilience Report at the UN climate conference.

This summer, Trump caused controversy by announcíng that the US would be withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement – a landmark settlement on lowering carbon emissions. Climate minister Isabella Lövin, who is leading the Swedish delegation in Bonn, told Dagens Nyheter that this was “deeply worrying”.

Together with the Swedish government, the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) is funding Joel Clement, a key whistleblower on Trump’s climate policy, to attend the UN’s Climate Change Conference in Bonn, which is currently in progress.

Until this summer, Clement used to work in climate change policy at the US Department of the Interior. He told Swedish Radio reporter Annika Digréus that it was “clear that the Secretary of the Interior was intentionally disregarding the mission of the agency.”

Johan Kuylenstierna, the SEI’s CEO, told Radio Sweden that primarily, Clement had received funding to present the US-Swedish Arctic Resilience Report, of which he was a co-chair. However, he added that “the recent developments in the US and the position Joel has taken as a whistleblower … this is something very interesting for our institute.”

Generally, Kuylenstierna is optimistic about the talks, which go on until Friday. He is calling for Sweden to take a leading role and work with US civil society and other politicians who oppose Trump’s climate policy.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada:  Arctic Council’s climate work continues with full U.S. participation, despite Paris pullout, says diplomat, Eye on the Arctic

Finland:  Arctic Council set to meet in Oulu, Yle News

Iceland: Norwegians and Icelanders let Alaskans in on the secrets to economic prosperity, Alaska Dispatch News

Norway:  Barents bishops ask Arctic Council to promote fossil-free future, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Arctic Council ministerial – View from Russia, Eye on the Arctic

United States: Arctic Council presents united front as Finland takes over from U.S., Eye on the Arctic

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