Schedule

Thursday, October 1, 2020

12:00pm

12:15pm

Welcome and Introductions

Prof. Claire Finkelstein, Algernon Biddle Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy, Faculty Director, Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

Ms. Alexandra A.K. Meise, Senior Fellow, Center for Ethics and Rule of Law, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

12:15pm

1:30pm

(Public) Engaging Arctic Nations: A Conversation with Security Leaders on Strengthening Arctic Security Cooperation

Moderator:

Ms. Alexandra A.K. Meise, Senior Fellow, Center for Ethics and Rule of Law, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

Panelists:

Hon. Sherri Goodman, Secretary General, International Military Council on Climate & Security; Senior Fellow, Polar Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center; former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense (Environmental Security)

GEN (Ret.) Joseph Votel, President and Chief Executive Officer, Business Executives for National Security (BENS); fmr. Commander of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) and U.S. Special Operations Command

This event will bring together experienced members of the U.S. and Arctic security communities for a discussion of how security apparatuses and Arctic governments can better communicate and engage with other to advance inter-state and inter-governmental security policy in the face of the existential threat of climate change.

Previewing key issues to be addressed in the workshop days that follow, this conversation is expected to address questions such as the following: Are nations giving climate change and Arctic security appropriate attention given the severity of the risks? Do Arctic nations’ military and other security interests align? Are current domestic and international political, security, economic, and diplomatic structures sufficient to address looming cross-border Arctic threats and opportunities? How can Arctic nations better coordinate mutual physical and economic security interests in the region? Is an Arctic Treaty or other formal security agreement needed, and if so, what should its scope be? What responsibilities do Arctic nations have to educate their populaces on these climate and Arctic security issues?

The session will include public Q&A.

1:30pm

3:00pm

Break

3:00pm

4:00pm

(Public) Communicating the Climate Change Security Threat:
Are We Using Effective Language?

Moderator:


Prof. Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Elizabeth Ware Packard Professor of Communication and Director of Annenberg Public Policy Center, University of Pennsylvania

Featured speaker:

Prof. Asheley Landrum, Assistant Professor, College of Media & Communication, Texas Tech University

Featured speakers via pre-recordings:

Asst Prof. Bruce Hardy, Department of Communication and Social Influence, Klein College of Media and Communication,Temple University

Prof. Matthew Nisbet, Professor of Communication Studies and Affiliate Professor of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, Northeastern University

Prof. Dietram Scheufele, Taylor-Bascom Chair in Science Communication and Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Affiliate, Morgridge Institute for Research

Polls show a majority Americans – no matter their party affiliation – support the government taking at least some action to address the changing climate. Yet despite 97% of actively publishing climate scientists agreeing that the last century’s global warming trends are likely due to man-made activity, 38% of Americans do not acknowledge that man’s actions contribute to climate change. What could/should national security, scientific, and political leaders be doing to convey the severity of climate threats to the general public and decision-makers?

4:00pm

4:30pm

Break

4:30pm

5:30pm

(Public) Fireside Chat on U.S. Arctic Strategy with Senator Angus King, Co-Chair, Arctic Caucus, United States Senate (with public Q&A), with Prof. Claire Finkelstein, Algernon Biddle Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy, Faculty Director, Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

 

 Identifying Strategic Impacts of a Changing Arctic

Friday, October 2, 2020

11:00am

12:10pm

(Closed) Session 1 – Profiting from Strategic Development Impacts in the Arctic: The Balance between Commercial Activities and Geopolitical Dynamics

Moderator:

Ms. Debbie Atuk, Portfolio Specialist, SkyView Investment Advisors; Shareholder, Bering Straits Native Corporation

This session will address security and social risks and rewards stemming from economic development in the Arctic, identify who is engaged in this development and why, and discuss potential approaches to investment promotion.

A changing Arctic landscape has major domestic and international economic implications. As ice melts and natural resources become more accessible, opportunities for natural resource exploration and extraction grow. In addition to fossil fuels, the region is rich in fish and precious minerals. The opening ice also accelerates a race to open high-traffic shipping lanes across the region and increase port capacity. A modern day “gold rush” is anticipated, with a multitude of State and non-State actors – including multinational corporations – eager to increase their presence in this region and harness new economic opportunities.

China and Russia have been particularly keen to increase their regional economic development activities. Russia has fortified its regional infrastructure and strengthened its presence around potential new shipping lanes. China – as part of its global “One Belt, One Road” strategy – has focused on increasing its access to natural resources and shipping opportunities.

Recognizing potential legal and ethical responsibilities and duties to and of State and non-State actors, we will examine environmental and social considerations related to strategic development initiatives, compare approaches of local/domestic and multinational corporations, discuss sovereign roles in economic development of “green” and “blue” economies, and consider the import of international legal commitments and guidelines outlining said roles.

Possible questions to consider in this session include: What are State motivations for regional economic development? What ethical and fiduciary duties are triggered by human activities in this region, particularly to the people living in this region? Do corporations and/or States have ethical or legal obligations to mitigate/minimize the environmental and social impacts of their activities? Should Arctic nations and corporations – including Native Corporations – adapt their economic activities to fit “green” and “blue” economy models? Should governments encourage free market expansion of economic development in the region, or regulate growth to promote environmental protection? Will they do so? If so, how should they balance the perceived competition between stated development and environmental policy goals?

12:10pm

2:00pm

Break

2:00pm

3:00pm

(Closed) Session 2 – Threats to Physical Security: Increasing Militarization and Resource Conflicts

Moderator:

Mr. Anthony Johnson, National Security & Military Capabilities Analyst, Institute for Defense Analyses

This session will confront the impacts of Climate Change on physical security in the Arctic and beyond. It will focus on the impacts of increased militarization and strategic operational activities in the region, construction of essential and durable infrastructure to support military operations and strategic natural resource development, and implications of the region’s changing biodiversity and potential for igniting mass casualty events and conflicts.

Some worry that a race for resources and scientific achievements could snowball into a new cold war or active conflict among Arctic and Great powers.

Arctic and Arctic-adjacent sovereigns have demonstrated that they will go to great lengths to harness the economic and scientific potential of the region, including acquiring samples of heretofore frozen species, bacteria, and viruses. These activities – whether scientifically, economically, or security motivated – come with risks. As the U.S. Department of Defense has recognized, “[i]ncreased economic activity in the Arctic raises the probability of a mass casualty incident … where DoD assistance may be requested.”

Possible questions to consider in this session include: What does “militarization” of the Arctic look like? If the Arctic is further militarized, what physical risks would that present for its local population? What role should indigenous and civilian populations play in strategic defense operations? Is increased conflict in the region inevitable in the face of Climate Change? What can be done to minimize potential conflicts over resources? How does the changing climate affect military readiness? How can Arctic states prepare for the public emergencies that may be set into motion by government and private-sector activities in the Arctic?

3:00pm

3:30pm

Break 

3:30pm

4:40pm

(Closed) Session 3 – Threats to Human Security: Migration, Agricultural, and Cultural Disruption

 

Moderator:

Dr. Melody Brown Burkins, Associate Director, The John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding, Senior Fellow, UArctic Institute of Arctic Policy, Dartmouth College

This session will confront the impacts of Climate Change on human migration and the potential for cultural tensions, disruption, and conflict.

As the Arctic melts, global sea levels rise, forcing people from their traditional homes and communities not only in the Arctic, but in coastal regions all over the globe. Increased strategic defense operations and natural resource development activities are also expected both to increase the influx of people and infrastructure to the Arctic region and to encourage current population concentrations to shift. Changing climate patterns also force flora and fauna out of their traditional territories and into others, affecting Arctic and other food sources. Human migration will result in some of the most impactful geopolitical shifts we can expect from Climate Change, but is the world ready?

Possible questions to consider in this session include: What are the impacts of changing food sources (including fish and prey of traditional hunters) on human activity in the Arctic? Does a changing Arctic landscape have implications for biodiversity and health security in other regions of the globe? Can current human rights structures handle the human and environmental shifts of a changing Arctic? Is our current international legal system ready for climate migration? How are indigenous communities and current Arctic populations responding to Climate Change threats? How is migration fueling conflict between migrating groups and between migrants and their new host states? Are current monitoring and governance structures sufficient to respond to local needs and ensure that local populations are represented in decision-making processes?


 Technological, Legal, and Governance Responses to a Changing Arctic

Saturday, October 3, 2020

11:00am

12:10pm

(Closed) Session 4 – How Technology Can Advance Strategic Security in the Arctic

Moderator:

Mr. Christopher Jacobs, Senior Research Fellow, Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

What if humans could engineer a way to decrease global temperatures, cool the warming Arctic, and/or mitigate human effects on climate? Can humans undo – or at least mitigate – their climate affecting actions through collective or individual technology action and “geoengineering”? How are security actors using technology to increase exploration and exploitation of the Arctic? This session will address the potential use of technology to tackle climate change and discuss new scientific developments, technical challenges, threats, and potential solutions to military, commercial, and scientific operations in an opening Arctic.

With volatile magnetic fields, rapid temperature variations, and underdeveloped infrastructure, the Arctic has always presented a unique set of environmental challenges to maintaining a cohesive strategic security apparatus in the region. Nevertheless, the United States and other Arctic nations have long engaged in strategic military operations and scientific investigations there. The effects of Climate Change on the Arctic’s weather and topography, however, have exacerbated many of the existing challenges while presenting new opportunities, including military-led exploration of previously unreachable portions of the seabed and scientific study of pathogens and organisms previously frozen for thousands of years. Technological innovations have helped humans minimize the impacts of previously insurmountable environmental hazards, but they cannot eliminate them – yet. Moreover, as the Arctic changes, new challenges appear, the effects of which can cascade well beyond the 66th parallel.

Possible questions to consider in this session include: If the world is ready to take dramatic measures to combat Climate Change, how far should we go? Is current technology development for the Arctic adequate? Is there a national security role for private-sector tech actors in the Arctic? Do private-sector actors’ economic interests align with state-actor climate policies? Why does the Arctic present such unique physical challenges in the national security space? How can Arctic technology affect and support scientific and defense activities and objectives in other regions? Where should governments and the private sector focus their research and development resources? How seriously should public decision-makers and private-sector tech take “geoengineering” research? Is there a place for geoengineering in a defense strategy recognizing Climate Change as a national security threat? What can States do to minimize the activities of rogue tech actors?

12:10pm

1:30pm

Break 

1:30pm

2:40pm

(Closed) Session 5 – A Status Check on U.S. Policy 

Moderator
:

Ms. Alexandra A.K. Meise, Senior Fellow, Center for Ethics and Rule of Law, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

This session will explore evolving U.S. policy on the Arctic and identify gaps between present U.S. defense and other foreign policy actions and the United States’ stated goals of maintaining national defense, counterbalancing regional balance of power, and ensuring free and open markets.

This session’s discussions will give particular attention to analyzing the Department of Defense Arctic Strategy (updated June 2019), the January 2019 Department of Defense Report on the Effects of Climate Change to the Department, and U.S. consideration and possible accession to international covenants such as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

To that end, possible questions to consider in this session include: How has U.S. Arctic policy evolved in the last 5 years to respond to rapidly increasing rate of weather and temperature changes in Arctic regions? How is it continuing to evolve to respond to “Great Powers” (Russian and Chinese) activity in the Arctic? Does DoD Arctic Strategy sufficiently address these physical changes as well as contemporaneous geopolitical and resource shifts? What are the Strategy’s strengths and weaknesses? Is the United States on-track to meet the goals set out in the Strategy? How does U.S. Arctic strategy comport with and/or influence the U.S. National Defense Strategy (NDS)? Recognizing the DoD Arctic Strategy recognizes the importance of inter-agency cooperation on Arctic issues, how should civilian and military entities work together to advance identified security objectives?

2:40pm

3:00pm

Break

3:00pm

4:00pm

(Public) – The Rule of Law? Maximizing Hard and Soft Law Arctic Governance

Moderator:

Amb. David Balton, Senior Fellow, Polar Institute, Wilson Center; fmr. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and Fisheries

Panelists:

Dr. Dalee Sambo Dorough, International Chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council

Dr. Lassi Heininen, Professor of Arctic Politics, University of Lapland; Editor of Arctic Yearbook, Northern Research Forum

Hon. Inuuteq Holm Olsen, Head of Representation for Greenland

This session will consider the current and future state of hard Arctic governance – like treaty mechanisms, domestic environmental law, domestic regulation of Arctic activity, and UNCLOS – and soft governance – like Arctic Council declarations and domestic intelligence policy guidelines – and their ability to advance strategic physical and economic security objectives in the region.

Unforeseen challenges arising from Climate Change are testing the limits of the Arctic’s existing rules-based order, including “hard” and “soft” law and governance structures. Structures and mechanisms that may have worked when much of the Arctic was unreachable and/or unexploitable may not be well-equipped to handle a physically changed landscape. There are growing legal questions surrounding who has the right to the Arctic’s resources, sea passages, as well as the responsibility to protect the Arctic terrain and its inhabitants. The rapidly changing Arctic climate necessitates rapid responses to these questions.

To that end, possible questions to consider in this session include: What is the current state of the Arctic’s hard and soft law and governance structures? Are they enough to handle new political and economic challenges presented by Climate Change? At present, six indigenous communities have Permanent Participant status on the Arctic Council, affording them rights to observe and address the Arctic Council, but no voting power. Should they be given voting power on the Council? What is the potential role of UNCLOS in U.S. Arctic strategy? What are the most compelling arguments for and against U.S. ratification of UNCLOS? Are the relevant actors meeting their soft law obligations, and if not, are there enough enforcement mechanisms to address breaches? What new enforcement mechanisms may be needed? How are States using legal frameworks and governance structures to respond to Climate Change? Are States attempting to alter these international governance systems? Is there a need to? To what extent do these reactions threaten national security? Should internal government policy structures be changed to handle these new national security threats?

4:00pm

4:05pm

Break

4:05pm

4:30pm

Closing and Closed Group Plenary

Prof. Claire Finkelstein, Algernon Biddle Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy, Faculty Director, Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

Ms. Alexandra A.K. Meise, Senior Fellow, Center for Ethics and Rule of Law, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School