Transport & Industry

Decreasing sea ice and the thawing of permafrost is altering transport opportunities in the Arctic. At sea, climate change is allowing for longer shipping seasons and new navigation routes. On land, however, there are negative implications for access to remote communities and inland industry. Thawing conditions may severely limit and/or shorten the periods of access through ice roads during winter.

Industry and transport are mainly linked through accessibility. The increased availability of offshore resources and the establishment of new tourist destinations due to the opening of the Arctic Ocean offer increased commercial opportunities on the coast. But inland industrial activities such as mining and indigenous settlements are likely to face decreasing supply alternatives and possibilities of relocation.

These new transport opportunities in the Arctic will have strong implications for the environment. The physical impact on landscapes from extractive industries (e.g. pipelines causing land fragmentation) and the risk of pollution (e.g. through oil spills) make it important to start addressing these challenges by ensuring a more holistic way of harmonizing transport regimes.  

There is a strong need to communicate best practices and standards for transport and industrial activities as well as empowering people through the implementation of prevention and mitigation processes, in order to ensure a sustainable development of the region which directly benefits the inhabitants of the Arctic.

Access recent publications

This document, published by the Greenland government in the wake of concerns by the public for more information, details plans on how to deal with potential oil spills of all sizes and icebergs and other threats in Arctic waters.
Assessment and Reports
Transport and Industry
The Agreement on Cooperation on aeronautical and maritime Search and Rescue in the Arctic aims to improve cooperation between the eight Arctic countries in responding to emergency calls in the region. This Agreement is the first legally binding instrument negotiated under the auspices of the Council.
Arctic Council
Transport and Industry
Based on the European Commission's communication on the European Union and Arctic Region. The EU's interests are to explore and improve conditions for gradually introducing Arctic commerical navigation, while promoting stricter safety and environmental standards as well as avoiding the detrimental effects.
EU and the Arctic
Transport and Industry
Based on the European Commission's communication on the European Union and Arctic Region. Policy objectives include to provide support for the exploitation of Arctic hydrocarbon resources, in full respect of strict environmental standards.
EU and the Arctic
Transport and Industry
Recommendatory guidelines for ships operating in Arctic ice-covered waters
International Conventions
Transport and Industry
This presents a synopsis of the AMSA findings for each section.
Assessment and Reports
Transport and Industry
The assessment’s central focus is on ships: their uses of the Arctic Ocean, their potential impacts on humans and the Arctic marine environment, and their marine infrastructure requirements.
Assessment and Reports
Transport and Industry

Maps & Graphics