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The High North: challenges and opportunities [WP1017]

The effects of global warming are reflected with greatest intensity in the polar regions. The Arctic, once politically and literally frozen is melting at a pace much faster than envisaged. This conference asked:

  • What are the implications for security including that of energy and other resource supplies, the environment and fishing, transport and shipping?
  • How can key countries and stakeholders including the scientific community work together to address these?
  • What are the governance implications?

Key points:

The Arctic is an area of hope, where states are cooperating to tackle common challenges. ‘High North-low Tension’ is one characteristic of the situation. The few boundaries still in dispute are relatively uncontentious and are being negotiated through diplomatic channels. There is no potential for military conflict. The situation in the Arctic is sometimes over-dramatized, with misleading reports of impending conflict and an unchecked race for resources. It is important to counter unfounded media reports or alarmist rhetoric from self-interested domestic constituencies with reasoned and responsible argument…..

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