Energy-security conceptions in the Arctic region

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Current climate change is opening up the Arctic region, not only in physical terms, as ice melts and former solid frozen ocean becomes penetrable for transport and resource extraction, but also in terms of opening up to global concerns as a contested political space: geopolitical issues that used to define the Arctic has become more complicated. It is challenging for the current cooperation in the Arctic that the region is portrayed to the world as somewhat a global common, of which many other actors outside the region have important stakes, in particular concerning so-called energy-security. This paper aims at mapping different understandings of energy-security within the Arctic region. Taking on a sustainability approach to the conceptualisation of energy-security, the paper first problematizes the concept of security coupled with energy, and asks: can sustainability and energy-security be compatible concepts? If energy-security is regarded to concern safety, certainty, and by implication, the maintenance of status quo where securitization of energy-security can legitimize unsustainable and short-term resource ambitions, this is problematic for the long-term sustainability of communities in the Arctic region. It is discussed how the notion of energy-security can encourage an opportunistic adaptation to climate change, where the Arctic region is regarded as an area of unlimited resources that need to be extracted. Lastly, this paper argues that a more human understanding of security is needed, one that do not inhibit the possibilities for people living in the Arctic region to achieve an arguably more crucial adaptation to climate change.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Political Science
  • Energy Systems
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusUnpublished - 2015 Jun 9
Publication categoryResearch
Nordic Environmental Social Science Conference: Contested Natures – new strategies, ideas and dialogues?
- Trondheim, Norway
Duration: 2015 Jun 92015 Jun 11


Nordic Environmental Social Science Conference
Abbreviated titleNESS
Internet address