ASP’s Senior Fellow for Energy & Climate Andrew Holland was featured in an article on Mashable discussing the United States’ role in the Arctic. Holland argues that the US has not been placing enough emphasis on the Arctic when compared to countries like Russia and Canada. Amid the current tensions between the US and Russia, Holland notes the importance of the region:
“There really is no place other than the Arctic where the U.S. Navy faces a peer competitor[Russian Navy] that has better training, better equipment in the region than the Arctic.”
The lack of US resources dedicated to the Arctic has hurt the country’s credibility in the region where climate change and security are two of the larger issues. Arctic analysts hope the two-year US chairmanship of the Arctic Council will push the country in the right direction. Holland noted the differences between US and Russian involvement in the Arctic thus far:
“It’s a signifier of our priority level and their priority level. The Russians prioritize the Arctic, other countries prioritize the Arctic. Maybe that’s appropriate that we don’t prioritize the Arctic as much as a country like Russia, for which it really is their backyard and is truly, truly important to their future development.”
Holland also spoke on the environmental and climate security issues facing the Arctic- namely black carbon. Real progress, he argues, will also depend on Russia. Holland was quoted in an article in the Carbon Brief on this issue:
“They have the most industrialised region, the most shipping, so they’re going to be the ones who have to ensure their shipping along the northern sea route has scrubbers on their smoke stacks to stop black carbon coming out, and that their mines and industrial activity in the Arctic is upgraded. With the Russians, enforcement is a challenge. They may agree, but who knows if they actually do anything about it.”
Read the article “U.S. Takes Reigns of Arctic Council Amid Geopolitical Tension, Rapid Warming” on Mashable.