News Release

August 14, 2017

For Immediate Release
Contact: Fiona Gettinger, Communications Associate, 703-824-2388

The Opening of Arctic Demands International Cooperation

Arlington, Va.  The opening of the Arctic to resource exploration has created the need for a unified response from the six Arctic nations exposed to both the benefits and the risks of accelerating development in the region. This is the conclusion of CNA Senior Vice President and General Counsel Mark Rosen and Research Specialist Cara Thuringer in "Unconstrained Foreign Direct Investment: An Emerging Challenge to Arctic Security."

"The Arctic is entering a new era, full of both potential and danger; it deserves careful study and attention," said CNA's President and CEO Katherine McGrady.

The study draws on a wide range of sources to compile a list of 21 Arctic investments of more than $1 billion by Chinese companies and banks as well many other smaller investments. The authors estimate that Chinese investment in the Arctic and near-Arctic above 60 degrees latitude has reached roughly $90 billion.

The paper also examines the legal frameworks for foreign direct investment in the six Arctic nations—Canada, Iceland, Greenland, Norway, Russia and the United States—to reach the conclusion that the national laws alone are not sufficient to protect the sensitive region from harm to the marine environment that would spread well-beyond national boundaries.

"There is a way forward where the Arctic environment can be sufficiently protected while its resources are extracted," said Rosen, an expert in maritime law and policy. "But taking that path will require cooperation and coordination between the Arctic nations in advance of resource development."

CNA is a nonprofit research and analysis organization dedicated to developing actionable solutions to complex problems of national importance. With nearly 700 scientists, analysts and professional staff, CNA takes a real-world approach to gathering data. Its one-of-a-kind field program places analysts on carriers and military bases, in squad rooms and classrooms, and working side-by-side with a wide array of government decision-makers around the world. In addition to defense-related matters for the U.S. Department of the Navy, CNA’s research portfolio includes criminal justice, homeland security, energy security, water resources, enterprise systems and data analysis, and education.

Note to writers and editors: CNA is not an acronym and is correctly referenced as "CNA, a research organization in Arlington, VA."


Christine LaPaille
Director of Communications
3003 Washington Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22201