Nowhere is the evidence of a heating planet more dramatic than in the polar regions. Over the last 50 years, the Arctic has warmed twice as fast as the rest of the globe. The melting Arctic is the proverbial canary in the coal mine of planetary health and a harbinger of how the warming planet will profoundly affect global security. At stake under the threatening cloud of global warming are billions of barrels of petroleum and other minerals potentially worth trillions of dollars, and the opening of new shipping lanes. Both are triggering trade and resource competition, accelerating international tension . Indeed, the European Union recently released a report warning of "consequences for international stability" as countries scramble to stake claims in the Far North.
We will discuss these problems as "tragedies of the global commons" and examine their impact on Europe and the role of the EU in the attempt to mitigate them.
Beverly Crawford is a Professor of International and Area Studies and Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science; the Associate Director of Institute of European Studies; and the Director of European Union Center of Excellence, University of California, Berkeley.