Global Agenda Council on the Arctic 2012-2014
The Arctic sea ice is melting. Perhaps the place where the effects of climate change are most evident, each summer holds less and less ice over the years – although it always returns in winter. Global interest in the Arctic and its future is growing, and numerous often contradictory opinions are being voiced. The complexity of the issues surrounding the region makes it very difficult for stakeholders, including even some experts, to have a clear, holistic picture of the facts. Commercial activity in certain areas of the region is not new (already, around one-fifth of the world’s nickel comes from the Russian Arctic), yet the potential for novel industries to emerge and activity to begin occurring offshore is strong. The Global Agenda Council on the Arctic has set out to demystify the region, state the opportunities and identify the challenges for decision-makers.
What the Council is doing about it
The Council began by writing a booklet highlighting the five most prevalent myths, opportunities and challenges on the region:
- The Arctic is an uninhabited, unclaimed frontier that is not regulated or governed.
- The region’s natural resource wealth is readily available for development.
- The Arctic will be immediately accessible as sea ice continues to disappear.
- The Arctic is tense with geopolitical disputes; it is the next flashpoint for conflict.
- Climate change in the Arctic is only of local and regional importance.
The Council’s first step was to guide dialogue on the Arctic in Forum communities. The first draft of the booklet was presented to targeted participants at the Annual Meeting 2013 in Davos during various private meetings, including the “Arctic Development” session, which attracted more than 50 participants and featured the prime minister of Denmark, the chief executive of EN+Group, the minister of foreign affairs of Norway and the former chief executive of Shell as panellists.
“The complexity of the issues surrounding the region makes it very difficult for stakeholders, including even some experts, to have a clear, holistic picture of the facts.”
The Council’s work is also establishing the Forum as a driver of global discussions on the Arctic. Council members are heavily integrated in numerous international events, where they often promote the booklet’s ideas. In addition, the Council published three blog posts over the course of the year in an effort to reach a wider audience, while the content of the booklet was adapted for publishing in Booz & Company’s strategy+business magazine.
During the next year, the Council will build on the booklet by enriching the five challenges highlighted in it. It aims to publish a final, historical benchmark piece: State of the Arctic in 2013. In parallel, the Council will provide input for Arctic events – including the Arctic Circle conference, headed by the president of Iceland, in October 2013.
To get involved please contact
Council Manager: Ethan Huntington, Senior Associate, Global Agenda Councils, email@example.com
Forum Lead: Martin Nägele, Director, Deputy Head of the Network of Global Agenda Councils, firstname.lastname@example.org