The Arctic way : the new Cold War

Since two decades, the climate change opened new opportunities in the Arctic ocean. Melting of ice is for a lot of scientists and people a disaster. But for many politicians and businessmen, this change could be a great opportunity for trade and influence. So currently, what is the situation in the Arctic ? Is this specific land threats by geopolitical tension of neighboring countries ?

To begin, let see what the European Commission said about the Arctic region throughout an introduction of a Communication the 20th November 2008 : « […] In spite of harsh conditions, melting of ice and new technologies will gradually increase access to arctic living and non-living resources as well as to new navigation routes […] ». To illustrate this communication, the 24th august 2017, the Guardian said : « A Russian tanker has travelled through the northern sea route in record speed and without an icebreaker escort for the first time, highlighting how climate change is opening up the high Arctic ». Indeed, the LNG tanker travelled from Hammerfest, Norway to Boryeong, South Korea in only 19 days. This record has been possible thanks to the new navigation routes. It is obvious that this speed is going to be a norme in a near future.

The 1st December 2017 nine nations and the European Union have reached a deal to ban fishing in the Arctic ocean for the next 16 years. If the US delegation said that is a « great example of putting the precautionary principle into action » we have to take care of the individual position of those States. The climate change is a serious subject for the international community, we can’t anticipate what the instable or opportunist government could do.

This subject could be one of the most sensitive case or the next decade. The COA – the College Of the Atlantic – has to work with governments and companies to found an acceptable gateway for this new business but, above all, this first important evolution on the map.


Sources :

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council

Independant : “Arctic Ocean fishing ban welcomed by scientists and environmentalists”

The Guardian : “Russian tanker sails through Arctic without icebreaker for first time”

A propos de Nicolas KRUMACKER

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