The Arctic on the Geopolitical World Scene: A Space for Conflict or Cooperation?

Miss Ana Belén López

As a consequence of the effects caused by climate change, the Arctic region is one of the points on the planet that offers the greatest resources and possibilities. Oil, gas, trade routes or tourism are some of the elements that have already begin to be exploited. In addition, we must consider the legal uncertainty that exists in the establishment of the borders, as it had been an icy ocean up to the date, something years after years. These factors have caused that great powers such as Canada, the US, China, Russia and the European Union, have developed their own policies to manage their presence in the region, arriving to situations of tension. One of those examples could be observed during 2018, the year in which Russia and later NATO carried out several military jaws where both measured their response capabilities towards a possible conflict.

At the same time, the Arctic region is an area of special environmental sensitivity. According to the data offered by the European Environment Agency, the temperature in the area has increased twice as much as the average in the last 50 years causing climatic imbalances that can have global consequences. Without forgetting the premises, the inhabitants who have historically occupied these lands are being forced to look for other means of subsistence for the new circumstances.

These two scenarios, this paper aims to show the role that the Arctic plays in the global geopolitics through the analysis of the latest actions that have been carried out recently by the most prominent powers. All to reach the prospective definition of the possible scenarios that may arise from the perspective of conflict and cooperation.