René van Hell: The Arctic Ambassador – The Polar Power Play
The temperature rises in the Arctic as prehistoric ice sheets melt and nations edge ever closer to the brink of war. On the 7th of February at 13:00, The Dutch Ambassador to the Arctic Council, Rene van Hell, will join Room for Discussion to explore the current climate of the frozen far north.
Van Hell will discuss how the Arctic has emerged as Ground 0 for Climate Change, as raging Siberian wildfires and the loss of 33% of sea ice disproportionately jeopardizes the region’s four million inhabitants. Simultaneously, environmental devastation has exposed vast riches, with a fifth of the world’s undiscovered oil hidden underneath a rapidly shrinking ice sheet and new trade routes promise to forever alter global shipping.
But opportunity brings competition, as the Arctic Council, a forum of Scandinavia, Canada, and the United States must cooperate with Russia to balance a commitment to saving the earth with unprecedented economic opportunity. 2022 will see Russia expand their military presence to more than 13 airfields and 16 deepwater ports, while the US has announced new arms deals and military exercises with the Scandinavian States. The Arctic has never been on thinner ice. Join us on February 7th at 13:00 to continue this discussion!