Publication Date

Fall 2013


The Arctic states established the Arctic Council aiming to promote environmental protection and sustainable development in the Arctic. However, climate change occurring in the region seriously affects both of these objectives. The Council has incorporated the climate change issue within its main agenda and produces substantial climate change science, and supplies valuable information to the policy-makers and general public in the region. However, the Council does not seem entirely successful in addressing climate change challenges in the region. As a soft-law body, the Council cannot create legally binding obligations under international law could be seen as a disadvantage with respect to its ability on one hand. While soft law character helps the Council in avoiding strict formalities articulated in international law, also allows the participation of non-state actors at policy-making level in resolving regional problems along with states, on the other hand. This paper suggests a few recommendations for the Arctic Council so that it may function better in the field of climate change.