The EU is a relative newcomer to Arctic policy and may appear to have limited options for influencing the future of the Arctic. However, all Arctic States and neighbouring countries, including the EU, have a stake in the health of Arctic ecosystems and communities, as well as the sustainable development of new sources of economic growth in this region. Sandra Cavalieri, Emily McGlynn and Susanah Stoessel from Ecologic Institute, along with co-authors Martin Bruckner (SERI), Timo Koivurova (Arctic Centre) and Annika E. Nilsson (Stockholm Environment Institute) present an overview of the EU's ecological footprint on the Arctic region, and suggest policy options to reduce negative impacts.
The EU, as a major consumer of Arctic resources and a significant contributor to Arctic pollution, can play a role in guiding the future of this region through a range of policy pathways, including stronger EU environmental laws, increased cooperation through multilateral agreements and international leadership. Using a new methodology for assessing the environmental impact of one region on another, this paper presents the EU's current footprint on the Arctic. It also analyzes relevant existing policies in nine distinct issue areas and presents policy options to inform decision makers about how the EU can reduce its environmental footprint in the Arctic. These results could serve not only to improve EU policies, but also to provide a model for countries that want to assess their environmental footprint on the Arctic or another region.
The Osteuropa special issue on the Arctic is available for sale for 32,00 Euro.