As recently as a decade ago, the Arctic was of little interest to people south of the Arctic Circle.
This has changed rapidly. Today, the European Union – together with the United States, Canada, Norway and Iceland – recognises that a safe, sustainable, peaceful and prosperous Arctic is important not just for the region itself but also for the entire world.
The reason for the increased attention is that the Arctic is becoming a new stage for some of the most defining issues of our time: climate change, the urgent need for inclusive and sustainable development, and geopolitics.
Climate change is the biggest threat the Arctic is facing, even if it is not the result of Arctic activities but originates from carbon dioxide emissions around the globe. It is happening more than twice as fast there as in other parts of the world.
Before long, coastal stretches will become ice-free during summers, and later on during winters…