The environmental and economic realities of Arctic climate change present novel problems for international law. Arctic warming and pollution raise important questions about responsibilities and accountabilities across borders, as they result from anthropogenic activities both within and outside the Arctic region, from the Global North and the Global South. Environmental interdependencies and economic development prospects connect in a nexus of risk and opportunity that raises difficult normative questions pertaining to Arctic governance and sovereignty. This article looks at how the Arctic has been produced in international legal spaces. It addresses the implication of states and Indigenous peoples in processes of Arctic governance. Looking at specific international legal instruments relevant to Arctic climate change and development, the author attempts to tease out the relationship between the concepts of Indigenous rights and state sovereignty that underlie these international legal realms. What do these international legal regimes tell us with respect to the role of Arctic Indigenous peoples and the role of states in governing the ‘global’ Arctic? It is argued that while international law has come a long way in recognizing the special status of Indigenous peoples in the international system, it still hesitates to recognize Indigenous groups as international law makers. Comparing the status of Indigenous peoples under specific international regimes to their role within the Arctic Council, it becomes evident that more participatory forms of global governance are entirely possible and long overdue.
* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.
Usage data cannot currently be displayed