|Should the law governing maritime areas in the Arctic adapt to changing climatic circumstances?|Franckx, E. (2009). Should the law governing maritime areas in the Arctic adapt to changing climatic circumstances?, in: Koivurova, T. et al. (Ed.) Climate governance in the Arctic. Environment & Policy, 50: pp. 119-143. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/978-1-4020-9542-9_6
In: Environment & Policy. Springer: London; Dordrecht; Boston. ISSN 1383-5130, more
The legal regime of the Arctic maritime areas has for a long time remained on the backburner of international norm creating activities. This can primarily be explained by the inhospitable climate which created natural barriers for human activities and imposed limits on the usefulness of the available technology.At present, however, climate change seems to be responsible for a marked heating up, not only of the mere physical environment of the Arctic, but also of the political tensions concerning the exact legal regime to be applied in the region.This chapter provides a close examination of the present-day legal status of the Arctic. Since almost all territorial claims have been settled in the area, the present contribution will only focus on the Arctic water areas with a special emphasis on navigation. Starting from what seems to have finally become a generally accepted legal cornerstone for appreciating the legal status of these waters, namely the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the chapter will first examine how climate change impacts on this legal regime. Subsequently, the vulnerability as well as the adaptive capacity of the 1982 Convention will be examined. Before drawing some conclusions, ways and means will be looked at for this existing legal system to better meet the new challenges that climate change poses for Arctic waters.