Many observers have noted that the loss of Arctic ice is already leading to stepped-up human activity in the high north, particularly in the form of increasing commercial traffic and development. This trend has brought forth a range of issues on the geopolitical front, from environmental protection to search-and-rescue capabilities to the delineation of national boundaries—which will determine access to natural resources. These concerns are being addressed cooperatively in both bilateral and multilateral fashion, especially under the aegis of the Arctic Council and the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The Arctic region is undergoing unprecedented and disruptive change. Its climate is changing more rapidly than anywhere else on earth. Rising temperatures are causing a retreat of sea ice and changes to seasonal length, weather patterns and ecosystems. These changes have prompted a reassessment of economic and development potential in the Arctic and are giving rise to a set of far-reaching political developments.
A comprehensive guide to how international institutions, governments, and NGOs around the world are attempting to combat climate change. This is part of the Global Governance Monitor, an interactive feature tracking multilateral approaches to several global challenges.
Author: Captain Melissa Bert, USCG American Foreign Policy Interests
Captain Melissa M. Bert, USCG saysnow is the time for the Obama administration to advance a comprehensive Arctic strategy that addresses both governance and acquisition requirements, or it risks further harm to the economic and national security of the United States.
Unlike its Arctic neighbors, the United States is failing to take full advantage of the tremendous economic potential of the Arctic region. Captain Melissa Bert argues for U.S. ratification of the Law of the Sea Convention; international polar shipping standards; and an aircraft, icebreaker, and shore-based infrastructure acquisition program funded by Arctic oil and gas lease proceeds.
Frank G. Klotz argues that the United States has important national interests in Antarctica, and these interests must be fully understood and carefully considered, especially as the federal government looks for ways to reduce the deficit.
John B. Bellinger III says President Obama should seize the opportunity presented by Republican support for increased domestic oil and gas production to urge the Senate to approve the Law of the Sea Convention.
Speakers: Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Admiral Thad W. Allen, David Rockefeller Jr., and Tom Fry Presider: Scott G. Borgerson
Experts on ocean governance gather in the Council's International Institutions and Global Governance Program meeting on U.S. ocean governance in an international context. They discuss the emerging issues of the high seas and how U.S. policies will interact with foreign initiatives and treay arrangements.
Speakers: Senator Mark Begich and Senator Lisa Murkowski Presider: Scott G. Borgerson
Senator Mark Begich (D-Ak) and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Ak) speak to the Council on public and private strategies for adapting to climate change in Arctic Alaska. Scott G. Borgerson, visiting fellow for Ocean Governance at the Council, presides.
Paula J. Dobriansky argues that the continuing success of the Antarctic Treaty at its 50th anniversary offers policymakers a powerful diplomatic template on which to combat pressing security, economic, and environmental challenges in the region.
The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »