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Alaskan Climate Team Hasn’t Met in Years

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Posted on Feb 6, 2013
Alaskan Dude (CC BY 2.0)

Icebergs that have broken off drift in Portage Lake south of Anchorage, Alaska, in 2009.

A rapid-response task force set up by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin with the stated intent to protect the state from the worst effects of climate change hasn’t convened since March 2011, newly released documents show.

The Immediate Action Work Group’s supervisory body, the Sub-Cabinet on Climate Change, has gone even longer without gathering—since February 2010. The inactivity was discovered via a freedom of information request made by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.

Meanwhile, Alaska and other Arctic regions continue to warm at a much faster rate than much of the rest of the world.

In a letter dated Feb. 1, the state government said the sub-cabinet produced three strategy documents since the 2010 meeting, but would not release them.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The Guardian:

Both bodies were set up by Palin, who appointed the sub-cabinet in 2007 to begin work on a strategic climate change plan for Alaska. Two years later, the immediate action work group set out a detailed report, outlining the risks to dozens of Alaskan communities.

Under [Gov.] Parnell, however, the groups fell into a state of limbo, leaving Alaska dangerously exposed to climate change, Peer said.

“On issues ranging from village relocation, to growing wildfire vulnerability and high erosion and flooding dangers, to sea ice loss, to impacts to infrastructure (ironically, including the Alaska pipeline), the state has abandoned a pro-active posture,” the organisation said in a statement.

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