What Happens in the Arctic Does Not Stay in the Arctic

“One Arctic: Shared Opportunities, Challenges and Responsibilities,” is the overarching theme for the United States Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, which will focus attention on addressing climate change, stewardship of the Arctic Ocean, and improving economic and living conditions in the Arctic. We, the five Nordic ambassadors to the United States, will share our opinions on these topics on June 1, when we get together for a one-hour Twitter Town Hall.

The Nordic countries share a deep commitment to the Arctic region and the Nordic part of the Arctic is highly developed. However, it is important not only to address Arctic issues locally, but to aim more broadly.

What happens in the Arctic does not stay in the Arctic. The effects of the changing climate and diminishing sea ice, the economic opportunities present in the form of minerals and energy resources, new and more efficient shipping routes, and increased tourism to the region will only increase its importance in the years to come.

According to experts, approximately one-third of the world’s remaining oil and natural gas reserves are to be found in the Arctic. There needs to be a balance between protecting the Arctic environment and the need for resource development and management. The joint pursuit of responsible Arctic stewardship is necessary. This includes sustainable economic, social and ecological development, and the application of scientific research and traditional knowledge to increase understanding of the Arctic.

For all of the possibilities emerging with the increasing accessibility and economic and strategic interests in the Arctic, the rapid development in the Arctic region also presents real problems for the international community.

Addressing and adapting to climate change is vital because it is happening at an accelerated pace in the Arctic. The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the global average. This is mainly because melting —> Read More