The Climate Change Regime and the Arctic Region

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Climate Change, Arctic, IPCC, UNFCCC, Kyoto Protocol, Clean Development Mechanism, Kyoto Protocol, Emission Trading, Arctic Region, Clean Development Mechanism Project


This chapter provides an overview of the climate change regime from an arctic perspective. The chapter poses a number of questions about the ability of the regime to take appropriate account of arctic interests in its efforts to mitigate climate change and adapt where impacts are not prevented. The chapter is divided into four components, a brief history of the regime, its approach to mitigation, efforts to date on adaptation, and the future of the regime. The history of the regime tracks its evolution through the IPCC, the UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol, and its implementation. The section on mitigation describes the emission reduction targets in the Kyoto Protocol and the various mechanisms available to meet these targets. The adaptation section considers provisions in the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol, and their implementation to date. The final section considers the future of the regime and the promise it holds for addressing arctic concerns over the adequacy of mitigation, adaptive capacity, and the specific vulnerability of this region. In light of the inadequacy of the global response to climate change to date, the chapter discusses how arctic interests have been represented in the climate change regime to date.