Climate change and environmental protection
Climate Change and Environmental Protection is one of eight work packages in the Geopolitics in the High North research programme. This work package examines the adequacy of the Arctic institutional architecture and its interplay with broader institutions as a means of dealing with pressing environmental challenges.
Global environmental change affects the Arctic with force, notably with respect to temperature change and bioaccumulation of pollutants that pose severe health threats. The ‘Arctic eight’ include two pivotal states in global climate politics, the USA and Russia. Moreover, China has recently applied for observer status in the Arctic Council – a major institution for pinpointing Arctic consequences of global warming and for generating Arctic premises in broader policy debates on mitigation and adaptation.
This work package examines the adequancy of the Arctic institutional architecture and its interplay with broader instituions as a means of dealing with pressing environmental challenges. These challenges concern
- Climate change
- Long-range transport of hazardous waste
- Regional oil and gas development
- Nuclear safetly
The assessment rests on three pillars:
- One is to examine the interests major actors have in the Arctic region within these four issue areas, with emphasis on Norway, Russia, the EU, and the USA. What are the patterns of common and competing interests in these issue areas and to what extent, if any, do the recent and upcoming changes in Russian and US administrations affect such patterns?
- A second pillar evaluates the problem-solving adequacy of the activities that regional Arctic institutions specialise in. At present, the focus of those institutions rests on knowledge generation, soft-norm promulgation and to some extent capacity enhancement.
- The third pillar builds on the other two and clarifies the political room for, and desirability of, modifying the division of labour between Arctic international institutions and broader organisations and decision-making venues in the four issue areas.
Please click here for more information on this work package.
Participants in this work package:
For more information and contact details on the researchers, please, see "About us" on the main menu.
Conference: In September, 22-23, 2009 government and academic experts convened at the United States Naval War College (NWC) for a two-day conference “Arctic Security Policy and Law in an Age of Climate Change”, organized by the International Law Department in the Center for Naval Warfare Studies.
The NWC Arctic conference included scholars and government officials from the eight Arctic nations (Canada, United States, Denmark/Greenland, Norway, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Iceland) and near Arctic countries, as well as speakers from Asia. They addressed Arctic security issues for Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Finland, the Russian Federation, Canada and the United States. Participants heard also about prospects for rule of law in the Arctic, military operations, maritime security and a marine shipping assessment.
Rear Adm. David W. Titley, the Oceanographer and Navigator of the US Navy, delivered the keynote address discussing the Navy’s recently-formed Task Force Climate Change. TFCC is to explore the impact of climate change on Arctic security for the Chief of Naval Operations.
Participants of the program “Geopolitics in the High North”, Rolf Tamnes, Katarzyna Zysk, Lawson W. Brigham, Valur Ingimundarson, Franklyn Griffiths and Rob Huebert were represented among the conference’s speakers.