Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Cooperation or Conflict in the Arctic: What to Do About Russia During a Climate Crisis?

| Mar. 04, 2024

ABOUT THE STUDY GROUP

This six-session study group, led by Arctic Initiative Senior Fellow Margaret Williams, is evaluating the costs and benefits of renewing cooperation with Russia on science and conservation issues. In the process, participants will learn about the Arctic's unique environmental and cultural characteristics, as well as the key agreements and governance structures supporting environmental protection and sustainable development in the region. 

 

Session One

Why the Arctic - and Russia's Role in It - Matters

The Arctic may seem distant and disconnected from the lives of many people. However, this region plays a crucial role in the functioning of our planet and deserves our attention and care. 

Session Two

The Environmental Impacts of the War in Ukraine in the Arctic

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has devastated Ukraine’s natural environment and the health and well-being of its citizens, but the war’s impacts have also had direct and indirect environmental effects in the Arctic.

Session Three

Transboundary Arctic Issues at Stake

Many issues in the Arctic are transboundary in nature and cannot be solved by states acting alone, or even if the seven Arctic states were to act without Russia.

Session Four

Should the West Engage with Russia on Science and Conversation While the War in Ukraine Continues?

Confronted by the accelerating climate crisis, Western governments, NGOs, and academia are grappling with a difficult question: Should the West engage with Russia on science and conservation, at a time when Russia is waging an unjust and violent war on a sovereign nation?

Session Five

Current and Future Arctic Cooperation: Where to Next?

Arctic Initiative Research Assistant Viktoria Waldenfels MPA 2025 reflects on lessons learned from the study group as well as promising paths forward for Arctic cooperation.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:Cooperation or Conflict in the Arctic: What to Do About Russia During a Climate Crisis?.” Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, March 4, 2024.