Erica Dingman

When the United States assumed the Arctic Council chairmanship in 2015 they came with the intent to promote full implementation in all Arctic states of the Black Carbon and Methane Task Force recommendations. Reduction of these short-lived climate forcers (SLCFs) would have multiple benefits for environmental and human health, and reduce emissions that are a cause of global warming. Yet, with a history of pollutants migrating to the Arctic from elsewhere, and inherent limitations at the Arctic Council, is to suggest that a paradigm shift is in order. Thus, to the extent that the U.S. has the capacity to exert influence, implementation of emission reductions must start at home and likely requires robust engagement of outside actors. This article will address how the U.S. is demonstrating an intent to tackle SLCFs, specifically black carbon, through policy and regulation; the role of renewable energy sources in Alaska; and why an engaged private sector is critical. To engender change will require a multi-level cross-sector approach.

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