Profiles in Ice: Hillary Clinton

March 31, 2015

As a champion of environmental causes, former First Lady, United States Senator, and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has long been a friend of Antarctica.



During her tenure as U.S. Secretary of State, Clinton urged tighter controls on tourism in Antarctica to prevent further environmental damage.  "We would place limits on landings from ships carrying large number of tourists," she said during a Polar conference in 2009.


In 2010, she made a special visit to the Antarctic program in Christchurch, New Zealand during a two-week diplomatic tour through Asia and the Pacific.  During her visit, Clinton acknowledged the importance of renewable energy on the Antarctic continent, specifically mentioning the wind turbine project that provides energy to New Zealand’s Scott Base and America’s McMurdo Station.


“That means lower greenhouse gases and less risk associated with transporting and storing liquid fuel. It’s a testament to that continent’s unique quality that for decades, the world has agreed on for Antarctica,” Clinton said.


But she didn’t stop there, in addition to strengthening ties with American allies in Antarctica, Hillary Clinton also forged new bonds of international cooperation when, in 2012, she signed a memorandum of understanding with Russia that was intended to deepen the two nations' scientific cooperation in Antarctica.  "Scientists from both our countries will work together to explore Antarctica's terrain, study the effects of climate change, and cooperate on a range of issues to better understand and protect our shared environment," she said.


“The Antarctic Treaty, the first arms control treaty signed during the Cold War, has kept the area free of weapons since the 1960s, making it the most successful arms control treaty in history,” she added. “And today, America remains committed to keeping Antarctica a cooperative, peaceful, and pristine scientific reserve.”



Travis McHenry, the Executive Director of Westarctica, praised Clinton’s efforts.  “As much as Hillary has been a supporter of Antarctic causes, we have been supporters of her.  Our very own Count of Kohler has actually met with Hillary Clinton in the past, and we're confident that the relationship he's cultivated will help increase Westarctica’s access to the U.S. Antarctic Program.  Especially when Clinton wins the 2016 election!”

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