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Research Topics

Actors and patterns of cooperation and conflict
Russia, Norway and the High North - Past, Present, Future
The United States in the 21 Century Arctic
Defining an Interest: The European Union and the High North
The Power of Energy
Law of the Sea and Ocean Governance
Climate Change and Environmental Protection

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.

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Norwegian Institute for defence Studies CSIS Fritjof Nansen Institute Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik University of Tromsø Moscow State Institute of International Relations (University) of the MFA of Russia University of Oslo Institute of general history Norwegian Defence Research Establishment Econ Pöyry
  The GeoPolitics in the High North research programme is now terminated, and the programme website will be preserved through 2016, but not updated.
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