What Role for the Arctic in the UN Paris Climate
During the two first weeks of December 2015, the UN Climate Conference in Paris will put climate
change back at the center of the agenda of the international community. Six years after the breakdown
of the Copenhagen climate conference, the international community is once again aiming at finalizing
and adopting a new legally-binding instrument to address climate change.
Just as the climate negotiations ramp up in the lead up to this event, climate change has also emerged
as a major theme of the ongoing US chairmanship of the Arctic Council. The country has not only
committed to work through the Council and its Working Groups towards better addressing climate
impacts across the circumpolar world, but mindful of the upcoming Paris conference, President
Obama also conveyed an unprecedented intergovernmental conference in the Arctic to highlight the
regional implications of climate change and to raise awareness.
In the context of these parallel developments, we review the role that the Arctic plays in relation to
these international climate negotiations. How have Arctic climate change been addressed so far by
two decades of climate negotiations? Wh