Arctic Study Project - Energy, Environment, and Security Among Arctic Nations

photo by Betsy Baker

The Arctic Study project will examine the emerging dynamic in the Arctic among environmental, energy, and national security interests.  The Arctic region encompasses fragile and shifting ecosystems supporting numerous seasonal and year-round species of interest, and supporting these species through changes in climate will require significant international cooperation.  The climate trends in the region also promise to make more accessible potentially enormous deposits of energy and minerals, creating the potential for unresolved border disputes to escalate during the energy exploration and development phases.  Finally, the possible availability of new shipping lanes across the Arctic Ocean promises to substantially reconfigure global shipping traffic and naval military priorities. 

The Arctic Study project will examine emerging United States policy in these three target areas of environment, energy, and security in the Arctic, and assess their compatibility and/or potential for tension with Canadian national Arctic policy.  Canada, a major presence in the Arctic, has a well-developed policy platform in the Arctic that is active on all fronts: environment, energy, and security among others.  Cooperation between the two neighbors has historically been strong, and the Arctic Study project will assess the continued track of cooperation and coordination between the United States and Canada as climate changes in the Arctic shift the policy terrain.