Arctic News Roundup: 21-27 March

Kangerlussuaq Airport in western Greenland [Photo by Grete Howard via Wikimedia Commons]

by Mingming Shi

1) Norway’s High North News published an op-ed on the need for the international community to take stronger action in curtailing fossil fuels, given the disruption in supplies caused by the Russo-Ukraine conflict but also the ongoing detrimental effects in the Arctic of burning fossil fuels. Noting the most recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the editorial pointed specifically to the need for vessels in the Arctic to use improved fuels to reduce black carbon emissions. As well, the comment pointed to the need to switch out heavy fuel oils on Arctic ships in favour of more environmentally friendly distillate fuels.

2) The Europe Desk, overseen by the BMW Centre for German and European Studies at Georgetown University, conducted an interview with Kenneth Høegh, Head of Representation at the Greenland Representation in Washington DC, on the role of Greenland in global affairs. The conversation, posted on Spotify, featured discussion of Greenland’s past, traced back to ancient times, and also included historical relations with its Nordic neighbours, the work of Greenland in the Arctic Council, ties with Denmark, and trade with other parts of the world, including growing numbers of seafood exports to East Asia.

3) The travel news site Skift published an article on the challenges facing Greenlandic tourism (mainly due to inadequate facilities and infrastructure), and they can be addressed in the future, via the perspective of balance of encouraging visitors while also protecting local environments. Iceland’s tourism boom over the past decade has also been carefully studied by planners in Greenland.

4) This month, the Government of India released its long-anticipated Arctic policy paper, entitled ‘India’s Arctic Policy: Building A Partnership for Sustainable Development‘. This document highlights the importance of the high north for the country, the ongoing relationship between India and the Arctic, and New Delhi’s strategies based on six pillars, which includes strengthening scientific diplomacy, environmental protection, human development, connectivity, international cooperation and capacity-building. India became a formal observer in the Arctic Council in 2013, and despite being located far from the Polar Regions has nonetheless sought to improve its diplomatic and economic position in the Arctic.