Global Policy Forum

The Battle for the Arctic


This Fault Line video discusses how, as the Arctic ice-cover melts, countries in the region such as Canada, the US, Russia, Norway and Greenland, are increasingly competing to exploit the vast oil and gas deposits locked beneath the ice. With the mining and energy boom on the horizon, the US, NATO and Russia have been carrying out large scaled military exercises in the far north. However, Artic countries are not only preparing to use their military for protection. There is considerable evidence that militaries are not only developing coast guards and rescue capabilities, but also combat capabilities.

November 14, 2012

Fault Lines looks at the potential environmental impact of resource extraction in the Arctic, and what that might mean for the people who live there. The UN has imposed a 2013 deadline for the submission of scientific claims to the Arctic seabed. It is the precursor to a resource boom which would see Canada, the US, Russia, Norway and Greenland all attempt to exploit the region's resources. These Arctic countries are desperately mapping out their territories so they can tap into the fossil fuels and minerals locked beneath the fast melting ice. And with global warming speeding up the melting of the Polar ice caps, potential shipping routes are opening up - raising concerns about oil spills, and control over these new passageways. Fault Lines' Josh Rushing heads to the Far North to see first-hand how Arctic countries are responding to the potential bonanza.

For the Al Jazeera video, click here.


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