A Green Transition in and for the Arctic (Fulbright Arctic Initiative III Policy Brief)

Jaime DeSimone, Christopher Clarke, Andrea Kraj , Lill Rastad Bjørst, Sigríður Kristjánsdóttir, Anna Cecilia Krook Riekkola

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelFormidling

Abstract

The Arctic is undergoing transformational change. Over the last 50 years,
the Arctic has warmed three times faster than the world as a whole (AMAP
2021). Thawing permafrost, sea-level rise and rising temperatures are
changing the landscape and living reality for the people of this ecological
vulnerable region. In parallel and in response, the Green Transition agenda
has been advanced by governments and industry. These efforts have been
accelerated further with the war in Ukraine, a global economic recession, and
continuing extreme climate events, such as flooding, local forest fires, and
extreme heat waves.
To meet the global challenge and the 2015 Paris Agreement goals, the world’s
energy systems must transition away from fossil fuels. The Arctic could be an
important provider of both resources (material and energy) and carbon storage
needed for the global transition and thus take up a new strategic role because
of the green transition. However, local engagement and consideration must be
paramount in the process. Government initiatives that encourage, facilitate,
and ensure robust local participation in decision-making, long-term benefits,
and equity consideration need to be strengthened and expanded.
As of today, in many, if not not most regions Arctic lack physical as well as
knowledge and policy infrastructure for a successful engagement in the
Green Transition. Building and planning new infrastructure in an Arctic setting
given the challenges of thawing permafrost, extreme weather events and
lack of connectivity, makes road construction and power lines expensive and
challenging to develop. In parallel, robust policies and inclusive knowledge
processes to advance local needs and priorities, will ensure efficacy of
local voices, more complete understandings of the risks and opportunities,
strengthen evidence-based decision-making, and reduce frictions that may
slow the Green transition locally.
Indigenous peoples, especially in North America, populate a large portion of
the Arctic region. Currently, it is important that national government policy
ensure Indigenous peoples’ priorities are fully considered when it comes to
the Green Transition and climate change policies. Furthermore, the policies
need to include an understanding of climate change, geopolitics, and ethical
considerations that is Arctic specific. Thus, this policy brief recommends
developing a better knowledge infrastructure, physical infrastructure (built
environment) as well as policy infrastructure for a successful Green Transition
in the Arctic.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftFULBRIGHT ARCTIC INITIATIVE | POLICY BRIEF
Sider (fra-til)9-11
Antal sider3
StatusUdgivet - 24 apr. 2023

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