Climate change and the arrival of more states to the Arctic can result in increased state competition around the resources and sea routes in the region and ultimately it can result in conflict. Avoiding or mitigating state competition over the resources and the sea routes in the Arctic is therefore crucial for a peaceful Arctic in the future.
BASIC was awarded a MINDS Targeted Engagement Grant by the Department of National Defence (DND) Canada to undertake a study to forecast the risks of great power conflict over Arctic resources and sea routes following climate change and changes to the power dynamics in the region by, for instance, the arrival of new states to the region. The report, based upon 19 semi-structured interviews, presents the views of Arctic experts, current and former civil servants who are working or have worked with Arctic issues from the A7, representatives from the indigenous peoples in the Arctic, as well as Next Gen Arctic experts.
This report presents the view of these Arctic experts and practitioners and finds that there are concerns that the Arctic may be torn apart as a result of geopolitical forces. The report summarises their estimates into a set of recommendations to assist Canada and the DND to mitigate the risks associated with resources and sea routes and to assist in setting new norms for responsible state behaviour in the Arctic.