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June 03, 2022

At Portland Conference, King Leads Conversation on Shifting Arctic Dynamics

Top global Arctic experts discussed impacts of Russian aggression, climate change, and critical mineral shortages

Download photos of the panel HERE

PORTLAND, ME – U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine), co-chair of the Senate Arctic Caucus, today led a panel with international experts discussing the shifting dynamics in the Arctic region. At the Meeting of the Assembly of UArctic, which convenes researchers from Arctic universities, Senator King moderated the New Future of the Arctic roundtable that explored the impacts of climate change and Russian aggression in the region. The panelists and Senator King specifically highlighted the opportunities presented by mining in the region that can harvest critical minerals needed for modern emissions-reducing technologies in the global fight against climate change.

“As the Arctic opens up, the shifting diplomatic and environmental landscape in the High North creates both historic opportunities and challenges,” said Senator King. “From mining critical minerals to forming new trade routes, the United States, Maine, and our global partners must be ready for this growing area of competition and collaboration. As the shadow of Russia’s unprovoked invasion looms large in this region of peace, today’s discussion was a timely reminder of the Arctic’s global importance and of the policies the United States must consider to counter Putin’s ambitions. I’m grateful for the work of UArctic, and look forward to our continued work together to promote responsible leadership in the region.”            

Senator King was joined on the panel by:

  • Lars Kullerud, President of UArctic
  • Drew Horn, Founder and CEO of GreenMet
  • Karla J. Williamson, Assistant Professor, University of Saskatchewan
  • Kjell Stokvik, Manager of Nord University’s Centre for High North Logistics
  • Melody Brown Burkins, Director of the Institute of Arctic Studies, Dartmouth College
  • Justin Milton, Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet), Nunavut
  • James DeHart, U.S. Coordinator for the Arctic Region, U.S. State Department
  • Catherina Hvistendahl, First Secretary / Greenland Representation in Washington, D.C

The University of the Arctic (UArctic) is a network of universities, colleges, research institutes, and other organizations concerned with education and research in and about the North. Through cooperation in education, research, and outreach they work to enhance human capacity in the North, promote viable communities and sustainable economies, and forge global partnerships. Created through the Arctic Council, UArctic is committed to upholding its principles of sustainable development as well as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Each year, UArctic host an annual meeting to convene their members and discuss the latest challenges and opportunities in the region.

As a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Armed Services Committee, and co-chair of the U.S. Senate Arctic Caucus, Senator King is an advocate for Maine’s interests in the North Atlantic and Arctic region. Along with Caucus co-chair Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), King recently supported Finland and Sweden joining the NATO alliance, and supported the decision of Arctic intergovernmental forums, including the Arctic Council and Arctic Economic Council, to publicly denounce Russia’s unprovoked attacks against Ukraine and stand with America’s partners. King recently laid out the challenges and opportunities of a warming arctic in an article in the Wilson Quarterly, and in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act, he successfully secured the inclusion of provisions to increase America’s activity and opportunities in the Far North.

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