Climate Change & International Security: The Arctic as a Bellwether

Climate Change & International Security: The Arctic as a Bellwether

The Arctic, where temperatures have risen at twice the global rate over the past forty years, is a bellwether for how global climate change will reshape geopolitics in the post-Cold War era, a report from the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (formerly the Pew Center on Global Climate Change) finds. The report, Climate Change & International Security: The Arctic as a Bellwether (54 pages, PDF), examines how increasing interest and investment in oil and gas exploration, fishing, and shipping routes — made possible by seasonally open waters — has put the region near the top of the global geopolitical agenda. Based on policy statements and actions by Arctic states and multilateral organizations, the report finds that despite commitments by various nations to work cooperatively to protect the fragile Arctic environment while realizing its economic potential, increased military presence in the region could lead to competition and conflict. To avoid a worst-case scenario, the authors call for strengthening multilateral institutions and agreements, as well as unified international solutions that address the potential for military conflict.