The Arctic energyscape from within: (R)evolution of the Arctic energy concern in the 2007-2017 Arctic Energy Summit Reports

Theme 1. Environmental protection
Session Name 1.12 Arctic resource geopolitics, oil and gas - actors, policies, platforms
Datetime Sep 07, 2018 01:15 PM - 01:35 PM (UTC +3)
Location Auditorium II
Presentation Type Oral
Presenter Hanna Lempinen
Author(s) Hanna Lempinen (Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki, Finland)
Abstract text

Equally in political, popular and scholarly debates, the last decade has seen the Arctic region portrayed as on the brink of becoming the world’s new energy province. Increasing global energy consumption, dwindling reserves and political instabilities at existing production sites, warming climate and technological developments have all been seen as pushing energy production activities further and further towards the previously inaccessible north. Once extracted, these resources are reserved a crucial role in feeding the “energy-hungry world”. Meanwhile, considerably less attention is devoted to energy-related questions within the resource-exporting region.


This presentation takes an explicit focus on the ways in which the regional energy concern has been conceptualized from and for the Arctic region. Making use of the final reports from the 2007-2017 Arctic Energy Summits – a series of high-level science and policy meetings affiliated with the Sustainable Development Working Group of the Arctic Council and with an aim to highlight the regional dimensions of Arctic energy –, the article scrutinizes the regional energy concern from within the region. The focus of the analysis is on the (r)evolution of the ways in which needs, challenges and special features of northern energy have been conceptualized and on the ways in which the oftentimes conflicting dynamics of benefits and losses and the desires and fears entwined with producing and consuming energy keep being navigated and negotiated in the circumpolar north.

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