School of Economics’ 4th Round Table: How Environment Affects Policies
At the beginning of the conference, Dr. Anne Choquet shed lighton the topic and pointed out that the changes inglobal climate caused large-scale glacial ablation in the North Pole, rendering the year of 2016 the second lowest record in terms of polar ice coverage. This downward trend, however, has boosted human activities in the regions with larger space. In general, business activities in the Arctic include the exploration of mineral resources and shipping. On one hand, melting glaciers have provided the former with a broader space for operation. On the other hand, capacity of the waterways in the Arctic has also been improved. The emerging commercial interests have fueled the competition for interests among the countries neighboring the Arctic Ocean. As of now, agreement on this issue is yet to be reached.
In her presentation, Anne Choquet called for more attention on the environment in the North Pole, in addition to the business opportunities brought by the thawing ice. The fragile Arctic eco-system has been deteriorated by the expansion of human activities in recent years. Currently, more international organizations are exploring and trying new approaches to resolve the disputes over commercial interests and environmental issues. The Arctic Council, the ATCPs (Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties) and other organizations are dedicated to this end, in hope of a more sustainable exploitation and protection of the region in the future.
After Dr. Anne Choquet’s explanation, the students present exchanged their views on how to tap the business potential and protect the environment in the North Pole. This round-table conference has not only enhanced the students’ understanding of the Arctic development and protection but also broadened their horizon and raised their environmental awareness.