chapter  2
14 Pages

Framing the problem in Arctic offshore hydrocarbon exploitation

ByTimo Koivurova

This chapter presents four framings of what can be seen as problematic in offshore oil and gas exploitation in the Arctic. The four framings include scramble for resources between states; Arctic fossil fuels driving national politics and political economy; Arctic fossil fuels as a final push towards global climate catastrophe; and offshore oil spill, which may cause a major Arctic environmental catastrophe. The offshore hydrocarbons of the region are seen by many as too dangerous to be touched, simply because otherwise we are dangerously interfering in our climate system and breaching the main goal of the global climate regime. The framing of Arctic offshore hydrocarbon extraction primarily as a spill risk issue supports state-centred approach to regulating offshore activities. The chapter provides some ideas as to the type of issues on which law and policy related to Arctic offshore hydrocarbons should focus at the present moment.