| FNI PROJECTS
Geopolitics in the High North: Climate Change, Energy
Development, and Environmental Protection
sub-project contributes to several work packages in the international GeoPolitics in the High North
research programme. One work package examines the adequacy of the Arctic
institutional architecture in face of pressing environmental challenges
concerning climate change, long-range transport of hazardous waste, nuclear
safety and regional oil and gas development. Another work package looks at the
geopolitical significance of the energy resources in the High North, while a
third discusses law of the sea and ocean governance in the Arctic
On the Climate Change and Environmental Protection
Global environmental change affects the Arctic with
particular force, notably with respect to temperature change and
bioaccumulation of pollutants that pose severe health threats. The Arctic
eight include two pivotal states in global climate politics, the USA and
Russia. Moreover, China has recently applied for observer status in the Arctic
Council, today a major institution for pinpointing Arctic consequences of
global warming and for generating Arctic premises in broader policy debates on
mitigation and adaptation.
This work package examines the adequacy of
the Arctic institutional architecture and its interplay with broader
institutions as a means of dealing with pressing environmental challenges.
These challenges concern
i) climate change;
ii) long-range transport of
iii) regional oil and gas development; and
The assessment rests on three pillars:
One is to examine
the interests major actors have in the Arctic region within these four issue
areas, with emphasis on Norway, Russia, the EU, and the USA, attending also to
the industry and civil-society groups that participate in interest definition.
What are the patterns of common and competing interests in these issue areas
and to what extent, if any, do the recent and upcoming changes in Russian and
US administrations affect such patterns?
A second pillar evaluates the
problem-solving adequacy of the activities that regional Arctic institutions
specialise in. At present, the focus of those institutions rests on knowledge
generation, soft-norm promulgation and to some extent capacity enhancement.
The third pillar builds on the other two and clarifies the political
room for, and desirability of, modifying the division of labour between Arctic
international institutions and broader organisations and decision-making venues
in the four issue areas. Among the issues is the question of whether the
framework the Law of the Sea Convention offers for Arctic governance needs
region-specific contributions, beyond the soft-law approach that the Arctic
Council has opted for. Throughout the studies, implications for Norwegian
interests are discussed.
On the The Power of Energy work
This work package looks at petroleum extraction in the High
North, where volumes might rise substantially in the course of the next
decades. At the same time, increasing demand for energy worldwide, especially
in developing economies, and threats to the stability and security of existing
supplies of energy, make exploration of Arctic energy resources important. In
focus here is the geopolitical significance of the energy resources in the High
North, FNI's contribution focuses on oil company strategies and developments in
For more information, se the
GeoPolitics in the High
North programme website, (maintained by the programme coordinator,
the Norwegian Institute for Defense Studies).
leader: Olav Schram
'Potential Arctic Oil and
Gas Development: What Are Realistic Expectations?' In Oran Young, Jong Deog
Kim and Yoon Hyung Kim (eds), The Arctic in World Affairs: A North Pacific
Dialogue on Arctic Marine Issues. Seoul/Honolulu, Korea Maritime
Institute/East-West Center, 2013, pp. 227-250.
Rottem, Svein Vigeland,
'The Arctic Council and the
Search and Rescue Agreement: The case of Norway'. Polar Record,
published online 13.05.2013, 9 pp.
'Norway and Russia:
Neighbours with Strong Interests in the Arctic'. In Hooman Peimani (ed),
Energy Security and Geopolitics in the Arctic. Singapore, World
Scientific Publishing, 2013, pp. 127-163.
Stokke, Olav Schram ,
Stability and Multi-Level Governance in the Arctic'. In P.A. Berkman and
A.N. Vylegzhanin (eds), Environmental Security in the Arctic Ocean.
Berlin, Springer, 2013, pp. 297-312.
Stokke, Olav Schram,
Interplay in Arctic Shipping Governance: Explaining Regional Niche
Selection'. International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and
Economics, Vol 13, No 1, 2013, pp. 65-85.
Stokke, Olav Schram,
Kina og samspill i Arktis' ('Norway, China and Arctic Interplay'),
Aftenposten, 01.02.2012. In Norwegian.
Stokke, Olav Schram, 'Environmental
Security in the Arctic: The Case for Multi-Level Governance'.
International Journal, Vol 64, No 4, 2011, pp. 835-848.
Olav Schram, 'Interplay
Management, Niche Selection, and Arctic Environmental Governance'. In
Sebastian Oberthür and Olav Schram Stokke (eds), Managing Institutional
Complexity: Regime Interplay and Global Environmental Change. Cambridge
(USA), MIT Press, 2011, pp. 143-170.
Stokke, Olav Schram,
'En indre sirkel i Arktisk
Råd?' ('An Inner Circle in the Arctic Council?'), Nordlys,
28.04.2010. In Norwegian.
Stokke, Olav Schram,
'Protecting the Arctic Environment:
The Interplay of Global and Regional Regimes'. The Yearbook of Polar
Law, Vol 1, 2009, pp. 349-370.
Far the EU has Neither Arctic Territory Nor a Clear Role' (comments to
article by Alyson Bailes)', Europe's World, 22 June 2009.
Environmental Governance: Are New Regimes Needed?', The Circle, No
1, 1 April 2009.
Many more publications at the
GeoPolitics in the High North programme website.
Research Council of Norway
|Recent media coverage:
er den mest kontroversielle plattformen i Arktis' ('This is the Most
Controversial Platform in the Arctic'), E24, 17.10.2013. In
'Hvem rydder op,
når katastrofen rammer?' ('Who Cleans up the Arctic when Disaster
Strikes?'), Information, 05.10.2013. In Danish.
'Granitsa v Barentsevom more: zhazhda
nefti ni pri chyom' ('The Barents Sea Border Has Nothing to Do with Oil
Thirst'), Neft' Rossii, 13.08.2013. In Russian.
hunger not reason for Barents treaty', BarentsObserver, 12.08.2013.
'Merkel til Oslo
for å snakke om energi med Stoltenberg' ('Merkel to Oslo to Talk with
Stoltenberg about Energy'), NRK, 20.02.2013. In Norwegian.
på asiatisk interesse for Arktis' ('Research on Asian Interest in the
Arctic'), RCN News, 13.02.2013. In Norwegian.
Russlands opptreden i Arktis blir misforstått' (- Russia's Behaviour in
the Arctic Is Misunderstood'), RCN News, 08.02.2013. In
arktisk olje- og gassbonaza til havs' ('Cancels Arctic Offshore Oil and Gas
Bonanza'), Teknisk Ukeblad, 28.01.2013. In Norwegian.
langs nordlig sjørute og norskekysten' ('Increased traffic on the
Northern Sea Route and along the Norwegian coast'), NRK1 Morgennytt,
04.12.2012. In Norwegian
leter etter olje ved Svalbard' ('Russians Exploring for Oil around
Svalbard'), NRK, 07.02.2012. In Norwegian.
'Norway may shut China
out of the Arctic Council - source', The Voice of Russia,
vil stenge Kina ute fra Arktisk Råd' ('Norway Wants to Shut China out
from the Arctic Council'), Aftenposten, 25.01.2012. In
perspectives on the High North', GeoPolitics in the High North,
Seas New Challenges', AlphaGalileo, 18.05.2011.
nye utfordringer' ('A Warmer Ocean New Challenges'),
forskning.no, 22.03.2011. In Norwegian.
i nord' ('Postpones Arctic Bonanza'), Mandag Morgen, 23.01.2011. In
sosedi' ('Exemplary neighbours'), Expert.ru, 27.09.2010. In
Arctic dispute stay out of military conflict?', Russia Today,
framtidsplaner i Arktis' ('Russian Future Plans for the Arctic'), Hela
Gotland, 06.05.2010. In Swedish.
arkticheskim shel'fom' ('Russia Has Grown with Its Continental Shelf'),
BN.RU Gazeta, 30.04.2010. In Russian.
'Olje kan ha skapt
enighet' ('Oil May Have Led to Agreement'), Dagsavisen, 28.04.2010.
Jonas og Jens' ('Jonas Gahr Støre and Jens Stoltenberg Praised'),
Vestby Avis, 27.04.2010. In Norwegian.
'- Et mentalt
gjennombrudd' ('A Mental Breakthrough'), Nettavisen, 27.04.2010. In
formidabelt gjennombrudd' ('A Veritable Breakthrough'),
Adressavisen, 27.04.2010. In Norwegian.
utbygging om 15 år' ('Believes in Petroleum Development in 15
Years'), Finnmark Dagblad, 27.04.2010. In Norwegian.
Det har vært en god dag på jobben' ('It's Been a Good Day at
Work'), TV2, 27.04.2010. In Norwegian.
'Åpner for mulig
olje-bonanza' ('Will Open up for a Possible Oil Bonanza'), Dagens
Næringsliv, 27.04.2010. In Norwegian.
er reaksjonene' ('These Are the Reactions'), Nordlys, 27.04.2010. In
Er trolig enorme gassressurser der' ('- The Areas Probably Contain Vast Gas
Resources'), Dagbladet, 27.04.2010. In Norwegian.
avviser at Russland holdes utenfor i Arktis' ('Støre Denies Russia Is
Being Kept Outside in the Arctic'), VG, 18.03.2010. In
scramble for the Arctic yet', European Energy Review,
Potential in the Arctic' (web radio), Swiss Radio Evening News
"Echo der Zeit", 31 August 2009.
'Kholodnaya Voyna za Arktiku' ('A Cold
War for the Arctic'), Neft' Rossii, No 3, 30 March 2009. In