ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Aug. 31 (UPI) — After arriving in Alaska, President Barack Obama will address climate change at the State Department’s conference on Arctic policy leadership Monday evening, the White House said.
The department is hosting the two-day event, called the Conference on Global Leadership in the Arctic: Cooperation, Innovation, Engagement and Resilience (GLACIER). Obama departed the White House earlier Monday for the second day of the event, which discusses domestic and international policy in the Arctic.
The White House outlined Obama’s trip to Anchorage, saying he will “shine a spotlight on what Alaskans in particular have come to know: Climate change is one of the biggest threats we face.”
“I’m going because Alaskans are on the front lines of one of the greatest challenges we face this century: climate change,” Obama says in a preview video produced by the White House. “In Alaska, glaciers are melting … storm surges once held at bay now endanger entire villages.”
Administration officials also said the trip will allow the president “to see firsthand the impacts of climate change on the region.”
“Some homes are even sinking into the ground,” Obama notes in the video. “The state’s God-given national treasures are all at risk.”
Obama was scheduled to arrive in Alaska on Monday afternoon. Upon arriving, he will participate in a round-table discussion with state natives before addressing the GLACIER conference at 9 p.m. EDT.
Obama said he will also talk with leadership from other nations at the conference, with the goal of finding more solutions to the climate change issue.
Earlier Monday, Obama announced the Department of the Interior’s changing the name of Mount McKinley to Denali — which in the Alaska Native Koyukon Athabascan language means “Great One.”