Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Mike Pompeo leaves the stage after speaking on Arctic policy in Rovaniemi, Finland, on May 6. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

The Arctic Council ministerial in Rovaniemi, Finland, ended on Tuesday without a ministerial declaration, due to U.S. objections over referencing climate change and the Paris Climate Agreement. This was the first time since the council was created in 1996 that no declaration was reached.

Why it matters: Climate change is rapidly redefining the Arctic region, which is warming at more than twice the rate of the rest of the planet. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo focused his council statements at the edge of the Arctic Circle not on climate change, but security — which is not a typical concern for the consensus-based Arctic Council.

Details: The U.S. objected to any mention of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) 1.5⁰C global warming report in the council's closing declaration, as well as any references to the Paris Climate Agreement. President Trump has vowed to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement.

On Monday, Pompeo focused on the "opportunities" presented by global warming.

  • “Steady reductions in sea ice are opening new naval passageways and new opportunities for trade,” Pompeo said in his speech, in reference to the Arctic's disappearing sea ice, which is caused by climate change. He also warned about China and Russia's growing "aggressive behavior" in the Arctic.
  • "His remarks appeared to shock many diplomats and observers, because the Arctic Council’s mandate has nothing to do with security issues," the NYT reports.

The divide: Instead of the customary ministerial declaration, the council issued a one-page statement with little to no details or concrete statements. The Finnish chairman's accompanying 9-page statement describes the majority of Arctic countries' concern for climate change's impacts in the Arctic region.

"The politics of the Trump administration have undoubtedly arrived in the Arctic and present a serious challenge to the cooperative nature and work of the Arctic Council."
— Malte Humpert, senior fellow and founder of The Arctic Institute
“The Arctic is rapidly unraveling, Pompeo and the administration [don’t] understand it, [don’t] acknowledge it, and [don’t] understand its threat to the U.S. The fate of the Arctic is the fate of the coastal U.S., including the whole state of Florida.”
— Rafe Pomerance, chairman of Arctic 21 and senior fellow at the Woods Hole Research Center

Go deeper:

Go deeper

DOJ watchdog to probe whether officials sought to alter election results

Donald and Melania Trump exit Air Force One in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Jan. 20. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

The Justice Department's inspector general will investigate whether any current or former DOJ officials "engaged in an improper attempt to have DOJ seek to alter the outcome" of the 2020 election, the agency announced Monday.

Driving the news: The investigation comes in the wake of a New York Times report that alleged Jeffrey Clark, the head of DOJ's civil division, had plotted with President Trump to oust acting Attorney General Jeffery Rosen in a scheme to overturn the election results in Georgia.

2 hours ago - Podcasts

Google's chief health officer Karen DeSalvo on vaccinating America

Google on Monday became the latest Big Tech company to get involved with COVID-19 vaccinations. Not just by doing things like incorporating vaccination sites into its maps, but by helping to turn some of its offices and parking lots into vaccination sites.

Axios Re:Cap goes deeper into what Google is doing, and why now, with Dr. Karen DeSalvo, Google's chief health officer who previously worked at HHS and as health commissioner for New Orleans.

Biden signs order overturning Trump's transgender military ban

Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

President Biden signed an executive order on Monday overturning the Trump administration's ban on transgender Americans serving in the military.

Why it matters: The ban, which allowed the military to bar openly transgender recruits and discharge people for not living as their sex assigned at birth, affected up to 15,000 service members, according to tallies from the National Center for Transgender Equality and Transgender American Veterans Association.