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U.S. Can ‘Advance Its Interests’, Address Climate as Chair of Arctic Council

When the United States assumes the chair of the Arctic Council later this year, it will have a two-year opportunity to advance its interests in the region of the world that has seen the most rapid warming as a result of climate change, writes climate risk specialist David Titley.

“Rapid climactic shifts in the Arctic are the nearest and the most consequential climate-related risk to security,” Titley writes. “There are challenges to be sure, including the devastation caused by rising sea levels. There are also opportunities—for geopolitical influence, research, and commerce.”

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He adds that “if the United States wants to realize its broad national interests in the Arctic, particularly in an era of tense relations with Russia, it must make greater financial commitments and focus its attention on the region.”

In LinkedIn discussion following Titley’s post, retired executive Paul Reinke suggested a more collaborative approach.

“Looking at the actual continental footprint of the U.S. within the Arctic Circle, I would suggest that our ambitions in the AC are aligned commensurately with our rather small footprint,” he wrote. “Why not use our term to help our allies take control of their own backyard on environmental, fishery, transit, and drilling, and mining policy? Seriously.”