Obama Signs Arctic Executive Order

On Wednesday, the day after his State of the Union Address, President Obama signed an executive order to better coordinate the implementation of policies in the Arctic Ocean. 23 different federal agencies will be responsible for implementing this executive order, including the Office of Science and Technology Policy and NASA.

"Over the past 60 years, climate change has caused the Alaskan Arctic to warm twice as rapidly as the rest of the United States, and will continue to transform the Arctic as its consequences grow more severe," Obama said in the executive order.

This warming, he said, poses the greatest threat to future generations. We are already seeing its affects through a widespread glacier retreat, coastal erosion, acidic oceans, early spring melting, insect outbreaks, and wildfires.

In April, the US will take over chairmanship of the Artic Council. This international group consists of Canada, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, and Russia.

The White House would not explain many details of the executive order, but they did say that the issue has been a top priority. The order requires agencies to report on areas where there are duplicate efforts, or where there are gaps where no one is yet responsible for implementing Obama’s climate strategy in the Arctic.

Thomas Hsiao, president of SuperGreen Solutions’ office of the Charlotte region commented, “Between this announcement and the strong support President Obama gave to green initiatives during the recent State of the Union Address, it is clear that his administration understands the leadership role the US must play to preserve our planet. I am excited to see the details of the President’s plan once they are revealed.”

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