We want ice

Published: Friday 15 July 2005

Sheila Watt-Cloutier: US has a Inuit USA

Sheila Watt-Cloutier, chairperson of the Alaska-based Inuit Circumpolar Conference has said that the us was hindering work to follow up a 2004 report by 250 scientists which pointed that climate change could make the Arctic Ocean ice-free in summer by 2100.

Watt-Cloutier was addressing the press in Oslo after receiving the annual Sophie Environmental Prize. She also said the Inuit planned a petition to the 34-member Organization of American States (oas) to put pressure on the us to make more cuts in industrial emissions of heat-trapping gases. The oas represents 34 nations in the North and South America. Its Inter-American Commission on Human Rights analyses and investigates petitions, which allege human rights violations. It has no power to sanction the us but could issue a report agreeing with the Inuit.

The Inuit, who number about 155,000 in the us, R ussia, Canada and Greenland, hope that the oas will agree that climate change tantamounts to a us abuse of their human rights: it thins down ice and endangers creatures such as seals and polar bears -- the Inuit hunt them for their livelihood.

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