The Geopolitical Struggle for the Arctic: Climate Change, Economy, Security

Climate changes in the Arctic, where temperature rises three to seven times faster than in the rest of the world, depending on location, with subsequent melting of glaciers and permafrost, will have consequences in both Europe and on the rest of the planet. Melting ice in the High North is opening new economic possibilities, from deep sea mining to new commercial sea routes, both with unknown environmental consequences. The war in Ukraine and subsequent suspension of Russia from scientific projects and the most important regional organisation, the Arctic Council, initiated a new geopolitical struggle for the Arctic, with China playing a prominent role, aided by Russia, which occupies more than 50% of the Arctic.
These developments in the High North have consequences for the rest of Europe, “What happens in the Arctic does not stay in the Arctic”, is often repeated by Arctic experts.
The European Contexts event offers an overview of the most significant developments in the Arctic that are relevant for the rest of Europe and beyond.


Climate change, new economic opportunities, and their implication for the environment
Rasmus Gjedssø Bertelsen, Professor of Northern Studies, Barents Chair in Politics at UiT-The Arctic University of Norway (Tromsø).

Russia’s plans for the Arctic and their environmental consequences
Ksenia Vakhrusheva, Russian environmental expert and activist, engineer and economist, project manager at the Bellona Foundation (Oslo).

Moderator: Mirjana Tomić

Glaciers, permafrost, snow, and sea ice; cryosphere in the climate system, consequences of glacier mass loss for sea level rise. Environmental changes in the Arctic and why it matters.
Guðfinna Aðalgeirsdóttir, professor of Glaciology at the Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland, and one of the lead authors of Chapter 9 in the 6th assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Moderator: Mirjana Tomić

Geopolitical struggle for the Arctic: old and new actors
Cristopher Robert Rossi, professor of international law and international relations at the Arctic University of Norway (University of Tromsø).

Moderator: Ivan Vejvoda