If you ask the average inhabitant of planet Earth to describe the Arctic, his response will probably sound something like this: the Arctic is icy, snowy, very cold, and sparsely populated. While it may be true that the Arctic is cold and does have some aesthetic similarities to Antarctica, there is so much more to this remarkable and unique region than meets the eye at a distance.
Despite its harsh winters and light summers, the Arctic is home to 4 million people spread out across eight countries – the Arctic States – and representing a wide range of cultures, languages, and ethnic groups. It houses unique ecosystems and diverse flora and fauna, including iconic animals such as polar bears, walruses, and Arctic foxes. Rich in natural resources, the Arctic is also both a major pillar of the global economy and the focus of collaborative international initiatives for environmental protection and sustainable development.
The threats posed by global climate change to the Arctic’s singular ecosystems add a sense of urgency to develop clean technologies to usher in decarbonisation and a net zero economy. The energy transition itself is impossible without making use of the Arctic’s rich reserves of natural resources, amongst them the very metals that are vital for green technology. In short, humanity must learn to develop the Arctic sustainably to achieve its climate goals.
Our mission is to spotlight the Arctic’s breathtaking landscapes and biodiversity, highlight the ways in which the Arctic environment is affected by climate change, showcase the countless economic opportunities this region has to offer the global community and underline how its development will benefit local communities, and, finally, drive home just how important it is that any development in the Arctic be pursued as sustainably as possible.