The Arctic is emerging as an important region in global affairs and a promising frontier for energy development. With an estimated 25 percent of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas reserves, and with climate change making shorter maritime routes through Arctic waters possible, the region is attracting increased attention for its commercial potential. However, the effects of climate change and increased human activity in the region are likely to pose important challenges to its fragile ecosystem and indigenous communities.
On June 12, the Energy Security Initiative at Brookings hosted a discussion marking the start of an 18-month research project on the challenges and opportunities of Arctic development. Panelists discussed the various international approaches to Arctic energy and natural resource development as well as energy and natural resource development in Alaska.
After each panel, participants took audience questions.
Former Brookings Expert
President - Goldwyn Global Strategies, LLC
Senior Arctic Official - U.S. Department of State
Director of the School of Policy Studies - Queen’s University (Canada)
Ambassador of Finland to the United States
Director, Center for Northern and Arctic Economies - Council for the Study of Productive Forces
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[On the Global Climate Action Summit] I think that this summit’s been very useful. It’s a demonstration of activism, it’s a demonstration of will, it’s a demonstration of engagement by all sorts of sub-national players, and I think that’s all been tremendously useful. But, it doesn’t fill the gap of the absence of the United States at a national level. The US federal government can drive action all around the entire country, not just state-by-state.