The Arctic Council
The Arctic Council promotes cooperation among Arctic nations on sustainable development and environmental protection. Established by the Ottawa Declaration in 1996, the Arctic Council is a high-level intergovernmental forum composed of eight nations with territory in the Arctic.
EPA leads U.S. government participation in the Arctic Contaminants Action Programme (ACAP) Working Group, which seeks to reduce emissions of pollutants into the environment.
On June 11, 2012, the U.S. EPA joined the Arctic Council’s Project Support Instrument (PSI), a new financial instrument designed to attract resources and partners to Arctic Council-approved projects that reduce harmful contamination in this sensitive ecosystem. To help operationalize the PSI, U.S. EPA has provided $1 million for use in project(s) that will reduce black carbon emissions from diesel sources in Russia.
Consistent with ACAP’s ongoing work, other areas of planned PSI activity include projects to abate or eliminate the release of hazardous substances such as persistent organic pollutants and mercury and action on short-lived climate-forcing pollutants in addition to black carbon. The PSI is open to contributions from the eight Arctic Council member countries, observers, and other interested parties alike. The PSI is administered by the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO) and pledges currently stand at U.S. $19.6 million.
ACAP representatives will further discuss the PSI and upcoming projects at a Working Group meeting September 13-14, 2012.
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For additional information on EPA's work with the Arctic Council, contact:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of International and Tribal Affairs (2670R)
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20460