Roundtable Climate Change & Security in the Arctic
03 Jul 2024 - 10:48
Source: Clingendael

On Wednesday 26 June, the Planetary Security Initiative and the Clingendael Institute organised a roundtable on the geopolitical and security implications of climate change in the Arctic 'Climate Change & Security in the Arctic: Frontier at Risk of Escalation?'.

The Arctic’s relevance has increased drastically in recent years. Arctic ice is melting due to climate change and current research predicts the Arctic Ocean will have ice-free summers by 2030 . This will have an enormous impact on the lifestyle of Indigenous communities and the Arctic states as the region heats up three times as fast due to climate change.

The aim of the meeting was to facilitate an exchange of ideas to promote innovative solutions to the emerging polycrisis in the region.

After an introduction by Louise van Schaik, Head of Unit EU & Global Affairs at Clingendael, and Hugh Adsett Ambassador of Canada to the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Permanent Representative to the OPCW, we welcomed an excellent lineup of speakers. 

Bridget Larocque (Indigenous resident of the Northwest Territories), Caroline Hoefsmit (Commander and head of the the Arctic Hub at NATO’s Maritime Command), Arnoud Stallman (BrigGen / Commodore and Deputy Director for Operations of the Netherlands Ministry of Defence), Clara Ganslandt (EU Special Envoy for Arctic Matters) and Torsten Kjölby Nielsen (Chief Counsellor for Arctic Affairs) shared their expert insights during the meeting. 

Together with the participants, we've discussed the latest state of play both with regard to the climate science and the security situation in the Arctic, including:

  • How can Arctic states manage increased shipping traffic in the region?
  • Perspectives of Indigenous peoples in the Arctic
  • How should NATO Arctic allies deal with Russia?
  • Will global conflicts turn up the temperature for the region?
  • The role that organisations such as NATO and the EU play in the Arctic

The event was co-hosted by the Embassy of Canada in the Netherlands and the Embassy of Denmark in the Netherlands.