– There is growing international interest in the Arctic, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government says in a strategy paper released Tuesday.
Both governmental and non-governmental actors are helping to increase competition in the Arctic, the document says. These actors want to take advantage of the strategic location of the region and the significant natural resources of the Arctic.
An important government objective is to strengthen Canada’s military presence in the Arctic and northern regions. The country will continue to exercise sovereignty in the Northwest Passage – which the United States and many other countries consider international waters.
The Trudeau government notes that climate change and new technologies have made the Arctic more accessible. Maritime traffic in the Canadian part of the Arctic increased in 2017 by 22% compared to the previous year.
2017 was also the year a foreign cruise ship first sailed through the entire Northwest Passage.
Climate change is happening faster in the Arctic than in other parts of the world, and sea ice is gradually shrinking due to global warming.
Among other things, melting ice facilitates the extraction of oil in Arctic sea areas, which in turn contributes to increased climate emissions when the oil is burned. In Norway, the government has chosen to open new areas in the Barents Sea for oil drilling.
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