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Inuit and Global Warming


The Inuit of Canada and Alaska are launching a
human rights case against
the Bush Administration, arguing they face
extinction because of global

By repudiating the Kyoto Protocol and refusing to
cut carbon dioxide
emissions, which constitute 25 per cent of the
world’s total, Washington
is violating their human rights, the Inuit claim.

They are inviting the Inter-American Commission
on Human Rights, based in
Washington, to visit the Arctic Circle to witness
the devastation caused
by global warming.

Sheila Watt-Cloutier, the chairwoman of the Inuit
Circumpolar Conference,
which represents her 155,000 people inside the
Arctic Circle, said: “We
want to show that we are not powerless victims.
These are drastic times
for our people and require drastic measures.”

The human rights case was announced at the
weekend climate talks in Milan,
where 140 countries tried to put the finishing
touches to the Kyoto
Protocol, the first international agreement to
reduce greenhouse gases.

The backing of Russia, which is hesitating to
ratify the agreement, is
needed to bring the protocol into force. The US
is trying to persuade
Russian President Vladimir Putin not to sign the

As they are not recognised as having a nation
state, the Inuit have no
voice at the conference.

Ms Watt-Cloutier said: “We have lived in harmony
with our surroundings for
millennia, but that is being taken away from us.”

- Guardian