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EU Releases Plan for the Arctic

The European Commission and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security policy just released a plan outlining EU policy for the Arctic.  The plan acknowledges the dramatic role climate change is playing in region, including the effects of rapidly retreating sea ice on opening up new economic opportunities in terms of shipping, mining, energy extraction and fishing. The policy aims to outline a set of tangible actions that can help the EU navigate future involvement in the region.

Here is the full press release and a video announcing the new policy. See it here first before it goes viral!

India in the Arctic?

Just dug up an interesting piece on India’s growing interest in the Arctic, which identifies three core rationales: a desire to study climate change, oil and gas exploration (India already participates in exploration off the coast of Russia’s Sakhalin island), and broader geo-strategic goals (India has aspirations to eventually join the Arctic Council). As Arctic ice continues to recede, expect a broader range of countries – many of whom one would not normally put in the same sentence as “Arctic” – to turn their attention northward.

Everyone Wants to Go to Svalbard

Where will you be spending your next vacation? Don’t know about you, but we’re going to Svalbard, Norway, the northernmost inhabited place on Earth, and one of the coldest. Well, no, we’re not. But a melting arctic – opening up shipping lanes, oil and gas reserves and global warming research centers –  has made the remote island of Svalbard, a place that was once offered as a harsher alternative to the death penalty, a veritable hotbed of interest from major countries, such as China, Russia, South Korea, and the United States. On the U.S. side, publications such as Admiral Robert J. Papp Jr’s “The Emerging Arctic Frontier” in the U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings Magazine this past February, speak loud and clear to that growing interest.

Still, we plan to go to Malta instead.

The full story at Public Radio International.

Strategic Implications of an Open Arctic: A Conversation with Norwegian Ambassador Strommen

This is a cross-post from CSIS’ Asia Policy Blog

Strategic Implications of an Open Arctic – Part 2
By Eddie Walsh

[Editor’s Note: The following is the second post in a series on the Strategic Implications of an Open Arctic for the Pacific. You can read part one here] (more…)

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