Select Committee on the Arctic - Report of Session 2014–15

Responding to a changing Arctic

Chapter 6: The UK and the Arctic

The UK as a near-Arctic state

340.The UK is the northernmost country which does not cross the Arctic Circle—the Arctic’s nearest neighbour.490 It is part of many Arctic-related international bodies and hosts an array of scientific, academic, legal, financial and commercial hubs of expertise on issues regarding the Polar Regions. The International Maritime Organisation and OSPAR Commission, for example, are headquartered in London.

341.In Government, the UK’s Arctic interests are co-ordinated by the Polar Regions Department (PRD) in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The PRD chairs a cross-Whitehall Arctic network which usually meets twice a year and involves representatives of departments and agencies including the Department of Energy and Climate Change, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Ministry of Defence (MoD), the Department for Transport, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the Natural Environment Research Council’s Arctic Office.491

342.In October 2013, the Government published its Arctic ‘Policy Framework’, Adapting To Change: UK policy towards the Arctic, to detail the country’s Arctic interests while reinforcing the UK’s support for Arctic governance arrangements and recognising the sovereign jurisdiction of the Arctic states. It set out how the UK works with those eight states and the wider international community, as well as the expertise the UK can offer relating to the challenges facing the region.492 Its publication was spurred by “the new and increased enthusiasm from other [Arctic Council] state observers” (see Chapter 3 above) leading the Government to feel that it needed “to be much clearer about what the UK’s interests are.”493

343.Jane Rumble, head of the PRD, told us that each of the Arctic states had welcomed the Policy Framework and that they had received particularly positive feedback from some of the states, including Norway and Denmark, which we heard reflected by representatives of those countries.494

344.The Framework was welcomed by a number of our witnesses;495 Dr Dmitriy Tulupov of St. Petersburg State University found the Government’s approach to the Arctic “balanced and well-thought” and believed the vision outlined in the Framework sent “a positive signal to other stakeholder countries.”496 The Arctic Athabaskan Council was “impressed with the UK Policy toward the Arctic” and added that it greatly valued the country’s commitment to research in the Arctic and “its track record as a constructive observer in the Arctic Council”.497

345.The UK’s contribution to Arctic issues, particularly through its participation in the Arctic Council’s working groups, was praised by the Canadian Deputy High Commissioner, the Chair of the Council’s Senior Arctic Officials, and Norway’s Polar Ambassador, who said that Norway wanted to work even more closely with the UK on the Arctic.498

Stepping up the UK’s Arctic engagement

346.The UK works for the global public interest when it works to support Arctic biodiversity, to preserve the Arctic’s vulnerable environment, to reduce the impact of warming and melting in the Arctic on the global climate and world sea levels, and to uphold the human rights of Arctic indigenous peoples.499 Arctic engagement is also strongly in the UK’s self-interest for a number of compelling reasons.500

347.First, the Arctic is strategically important for the UK. The Arctic is the UK’s neighbourhood, and the UK has a large stake in good governance, stability and healthy co-operation in this region which is both geographically proximate and significant for access to the north Atlantic.501 The UK does not want to find itself disconnected from the fast-paced and wide-ranging changes occurring in its own neighbourhood—it needs to be part of that co-operation and governance. As Mr Coffey told us, “With the Arctic becoming increasingly important for economic and geo-political reasons, now is not the time for the UK to turn away from its own backyard.”502

348.Second, as touched on in Chapter 5, the Arctic has the potential to bring increasing benefits to the British economy.503 As Daniel Kochis of The Heritage Foundation told us, “changes to global shipping, as well as the tourism, fishing, mining, and oil and natural gas industries should make the Arctic an important part of future planning for the UK economy”.504 The UK has established strengths in shipping, maritime financial services and insurance, mining and the oil and gas industry, and some large British companies are already active in the Arctic region.505 Expanding human activity in the Arctic will depend on and drive technological development, which could create further opportunities for British national research centres, universities and businesses.506 Some of our witnesses also highlighted the importance to the British economy of energy supply security, and the levels of energy currently imported from Norway.507

Box 4: Trading links between the UK and the Arctic Council member states

Economic relationships between the UK and the Arctic states are already important. Half of the member states of the Arctic Council—the United States, Russia, Canada and Sweden—are also top 20 trading partners for the UK.508 Exports to Sweden were worth £5.6 billion in 2013; in the same year, exports to Russia were worth £5.2 billion and exports to Canada were worth £4.5 billion.509

Norway supplies 30 per cent of UK energy in total,510 and 55 per cent of UK gas imports.511 Bilateral trade between the UK and Norway is worth £18 billion per annum.512

The UK is the 9th largest importer to Finland: UK imports to Finland totalled £1.75 billion in 2013.513 The UK is the largest supplier of imported services to Iceland, and the 10th largest total supplier of imported goods for Iceland.514

349.Third, the Arctic is increasingly being understood as having a direct effect on the UK through its impact on the British climate and weather.515 We were told that “changes in oceanic, atmospheric and cryospheric conditions in the Arctic may lead to further repeats of the very cold winters experienced in 2009 and 2010” and winter flooding of 2013–14, while extreme weather events may be becoming increasingly likely and lasting longer, all with associated costs.516

350.The Arctic is also directly linked to the UK through the UK’s sharing of Arctic migratory species, and also waters—just five miles west of the Shetland Islands and 500 metres down lies a freezing cold body of Arctic water, we heard, “so the Arctic is part of our territorial waters”.517 Finally, the UK is connected to the Arctic through the presence of British citizens on cruise ships and other boats (such as trawlers) in the region.518

351.The breadth of the UK’s interests in the Arctic demonstrates the importance of this region to the UK. While we commend the work that the Polar Regions Department has done to date to articulate and pursue the UK’s Arctic interests, the speed of change in the region and the emerging opportunities and challenges mean that British engagement with the region now needs to intensify.

352.British policies towards the Arctic have to date been more reactive than proactive. The UK’s approach needs to be more strategic, better co-ordinated, and more self-confident and proactive, or the UK risks being outmanoeuvred by other states with less experience in the Arctic but a more positive and forward-looking engagement.

353.By dint of its combination of Arctic proximity, history, skills, knowledge and research, its competitive advantage in applicable business sectors, and its own international standing, the UK should be positioned as the premier partner for Arctic states and other interests in Arctic co-operation: the Government should adopt this as its ambition in Arctic affairs.

How, when and where should the UK be prepared to step up in Arctic affairs?

354.The diversity of the UK’s interests in the Arctic is matched by the diversity of its connections with the Arctic, all of which present opportunities for improving the UK’s standing in Arctic affairs. The UK can best engage with the region through a number of different routes.

Science and technology

Engaging with the Arctic region through British science and technology

355.The UK’s established expertise in Arctic science and technology is important for improving British understanding of processes that are likely to affect and raise opportunities for this country, as well as for gaining insight into Arctic changes with local and global impacts.519 It is also crucial to its standing in the Arctic community, and earns the country influence in Arctic affairs.520

356.Scientific research is widely seen as the UK’s biggest contribution to Arctic co-operation, and as valued by the Arctic states.521 The British Antarctic Survey argued that the UK’s status as a non-Arctic nation meant that its science is “well positioned to provide unbiased advice particularly on issues of stewardship”, while “UK skills and knowledge about accessing remote and hostile environments to address globally important scientific questions, as well as UK experience in managing multi-national scientific collaborations, means the UK science community could provide strong support to influence Arctic affairs.”522 Professor Terry Callaghan also saw a role for the UK in advising on the “Stewardship of the Arctic environment”, and playing the part of “honest broker”.523

The UK’s current contribution to Arctic science and technology

357.The UK is a leader in an extensive range of Arctic science areas.524 The UK has a strong science base and a strong reputation in Arctic science among the international community, placing the UK “in the forefront in setting the science agenda in the Arctic in groups such as the International Arctic Science Committee”.525 Dr Mazo told us the UK “punches well above its weight” as it is “by far the greatest producer outside the Arctic states of scientific research that deals with the Arctic” in terms of both output and the percentage of its research budget.526

358.UK Arctic research is particularly impactful: we heard from Professor Andy Shepherd that nine per cent of all published scientific papers on the Arctic included a UK organisation, rising to 18 per cent in the last decade, while the UK contributes approximately four per cent of global expenditure on research and development, “So the relative impact of UK research is disproportionately high”.527 He added that “the UK makes scientific contributions in all elements of the Arctic climate system, including the ocean, sea ice, land ice, the atmosphere, and the terrestrial and marine ecosystems.”528

359.A “large and active” community of Arctic researchers in the UK is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). Since 2009 NERC has funded an Arctic Office to co-ordinate UK research and logistics in the Arctic region, support the British Arctic research community, raise the profile of the UK in the Arctic region, advise Government departments (including the FCO) and build international co-operative links.529 The Arctic Office is hosted by the British Antarctic Survey, which is the country’s leading polar science body.

360.NERC also funds an Arctic Research Programme managed by the British Antarctic Survey (which is increasing its work in the Arctic) with support from the Arctic Office. This programme, worth £15 million over 2010–15, aims to consolidate and enhance research capabilities, address scientific uncertainties, and improve the capability to predict changes in the Arctic.530 Professor Jane Francis, Director of the British Antarctic Survey, told us that she hoped something longer-term could be established to follow this Programme, the programme management for which is due to expire in March 2016.531

361.The UK is making major contributions to understanding the cryosphere and biosphere, we were told, and is “strong in research on physical (energy exchange), biological (greenhouse gas emissions) and cryospheric (glacier decline) processes that lead to globally important issues such as sea level rise and amplified warming”.532 UK science is a world leader on climate modelling, sea ice prediction, Greenlandic ice sheet evolution and atmospheric sciences.533

362.UK centres of excellence include the Met Office,534 the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), the NERC National Oceanography Centre, the NERC Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling,535 the NERC National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS), the British Antarctic Survey, the Scott Polar Research Institute, CASP (Cambridge Arctic Shelf Programme), University College London and the Universities of Oxford, Reading, Bristol and Leeds.536 The National Centre for Atmospheric Science told us that “The UK (through NCAS, NERC and the Met Office) is a world-leader in monitoring the Arctic, interpreting the observed changes, and developing sea-ice and Arctic forecasting.”537 The British Antarctic Survey has led an international EU-funded programme on the contribution of glaciers (including Arctic glaciers) to future sea-level rise and is leading another such programme on sea-ice change in the Arctic and its physical, social and economic impacts.538

363.British science is also particularly strong on ecology, polar ecosystems and biodiversity research, and devotes significant resources to monitoring Arctic birds that winter in this country.539 According to NERC, the UK “plays a key role in world-wide environmental and oceanographic monitoring and assessment.”540 In terms of technology, we were advised that the UK leads in marine observation through autonomous systems and sensors, while Professor Chris Rapley from University College London stressed the British contribution to the development of the European Space Agency’s Earth-observing satellites including the UK-led ‘CryoSat’ programme which monitors polar ice.541 Expertise in polar oceanography, bathymetry, marine geology and the geophysics of the Arctic was also highlighted.542 British technology providers are also recognised as world leading in a range of areas relevant to the Arctic, from the oil and gas industry to the establishment of a data storage hub in Arctic Sweden.543

364.NERC has infrastructural capabilities in polar ocean observations including a strengthened research vessel which is deployed in the sub-Arctic region during the Antarctic summer, and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles which can be deployed under ice.544 Investments have also been made into sustained observation programmes in the North East Atlantic and Svalbard.545 The British Antarctic Survey has used its aircraft to investigate cloud formation in the Arctic, while the Arctic Office supports a NERC-funded UK Arctic Research Station at Ny-Ålesund in Svalbard which costs around £150k per year.546

365.The Government is also investing around £200 million in a new polar research ship with ice-breaking capacity ready for 2019.547 However, the Geological Society’s understanding was that the new ship was intended to replace two in Antarctica, resulting in a significant overall reduction in research capacity with possible impacts on ship days in the Arctic.548 BAS noted that when BAS ships and aircraft are used outside the Antarctic, BAS must recover the costs of deploying these platforms in science support roles and on commercial charters in order to meet Government budgetary requirements.549

UK Arctic science: the need for strategic drive and co-ordination

366.We heard that in spite of its high quality there is a lack of strategic drive and co-ordination in UK Arctic science. The Arctic Office recognised that “there has been relatively limited co-ordination and prioritisation” of UK researchers’ “essentially bottom-up driven work” as there has been no over-arching and ongoing Arctic science strategy.550 The projects funded by the 2010–15 Arctic Research Programme represented the best of UK Arctic expertise, rather than being driven by strategic aims; Prof Francis noted that “Some effort will be made to co-ordinate results”.551

367.At present, because researchers can reach the Arctic without the logistical support needed to reach Antarctica, there is no UK Arctic agency with a co-ordinating role equivalent to that of the British Antarctic Survey for Antarctic science.552 Prof Francis told us that about 400 or 500 scientists in the UK working on the Arctic (across at least 60 institutions) had been identified: “We just about know who they are now through meetings that we have organised.”553 UK scientists attending Arctic Council meetings are not expected to report to the FCO or other co-ordinating bodies.554

368.Prof Shepherd told us that he “would be surprised if the Government were able to use UK scientific expertise on the Arctic effectively, as it is widely distributed among many organisations, and there is no obvious activity overseeing the combined effort”.555 He argued in favour of establishing a scientific body “to appraise and perhaps co-ordinate” British Arctic research.556 The Arctic Office saw the need for a “strategic plan for growing a more co-ordinated on-going Arctic science presence” in order for the UK to contribute effectively to sustained Arctic observational studies.557

369.An integrated research programme on the Arctic, including socio-economic issues and involving industry partners, was recommended by Prof Wall as a successor to the expiring Arctic Research Programme; international law, geopolitics, indigenous affairs and governance might also be usefully included, as UK social scientists have also made contributions directly and indirectly to the work of the Arctic Council working groups.558

370.The UK Arctic and Antarctic Partnership, established in 2014 and consisting of representatives from academia and institutes with polar interests (including social scientists), is intended to “bring together the Arctic community to be a little more influential and a bit more coherent, with a proper strategy for Arctic science.”559

371.UK Antarctic science is better co-ordinated.560 The Government recently published UK Science in Antarctica 2014–2020, which outlines the UK’s high-level ‘direction’ for Antarctic science and aims to foster UK and international partnerships.561 The Director of the Norwegian Polar Institute, Dr Jan-Gunnar Winther, told us that his Institute has a technical and strategic advisory role to the Norwegian government, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and had given advice on where oil drilling should be allowed to take place in relation to sea ice.562 When we asked Prof Francis whether any UK Arctic body had a similar role, she replied: “The British Antarctic Survey is now extending its remit … we are officially broadening out and extending our work into the Arctic”; BAS stated that its commitment to scientific and operational excellence helped it sustain a leading position for the UK in Antarctic affairs, and that it would “welcome the opportunity to provide similar support to the UK in the Arctic.”563 Prof Francis also confirmed that “We do not as yet have an Arctic strategy, but we are developing one.”564

372.Dr Winther told us that the UK would gain from increasing its scientific work in the Arctic, arguing, “You are an observer to the Arctic Council, you are located where you are located and you are affected by climate change in the Arctic region”, as well as having well-recognised science institutions and a strong record of collaboration: “It makes sense to have increased activity in the north.”565

373.In its framework for Antarctic science, the Government proclaims that Antarctic research “leads to new insight and discovery about our world, ensures an active and influential Antarctic regional presence for the UK, and is critical for informing and involving Government, civil society and business.”566 Much the same could be said for Arctic research and the role of UK Arctic science therein.

UK Arctic science: representation and funding

374.The UK’s Arctic science strengths may be considerable, but we heard that the UK should make better use of them in international fora.567 Iceland saw science work as one of the key areas for the UK to strengthen in its Arctic co-operation, saying that “UK representatives have been attending the scientific working group to some extent but not very visibly.”568 The UK’s representation on Arctic Council working groups was described as “Fairly sparse”, “at best patchy” and “very local”.569

375.Ambassador Eikeland told us that “that there is a wish for the UK to participate more in working groups. But, to be blunt, if you are going to participate, you need more predictable funding.”570 We heard that there is no well-established funding mechanism for supporting UK Arctic scientists’ participation in the Council’s work, making it difficult for UK natural and social scientists to get funding to attend remote and expensive meetings—those who do attend are often there as representatives of international associations.571

376.Prof Francis highlighted that while the FCO encourages UK Arctic science, there is no ongoing FCO funding for Arctic science—even for the support of the Ny-Ålesund base in Svalbard.572 When she told us that BAS (funded by BIS through NERC) is developing an Arctic science strategy, she added “We are not particularly funded for scientific work in the Arctic specifically, so we have to do that on grants.”573 She said that BAS was hoping to “establish something a bit longer term” after the expiry of the Arctic Research Programme but there seems not to be clarity about what may be arranged; the Year of Polar Prediction beginning in 2017 underlines the urgency of organising a replacement.574 Prof Francis also highlighted the importance of the UK exerting influence in Brussels to promote more EU funding for Arctic science.575

377.Dr Jan-Gunnar Winther told us that “if you invest one penny in studying the Arctic, you gain more in improving your domestic management of your resources” because of the effects of climate change in the Arctic on climate, weather and flooding at home.576

378.We note that in UK Science in Antarctica 2014–2020, Ministers from BIS and the FCO clearly cited the connection between investing in polar science and deriving benefits for the UK: “We fund science that benefits humanity, sustainable use of resources, helps protect the planet and generates economic and social impact. … Innovation and research are at the heart of the UK growth agenda. The advancement of Antarctic knowledge and understanding is essential to a promising future for the UK. As the key Ministers with responsibilities for investment and increased national and international collaboration in Antarctic research, infrastructure and governance, we expect UK polar science to continue to be amongst the best in the world.”577

UK Arctic science: changes needed

379.The UK may hold no Arctic territory but having an influential voice in co-operative activity in a rapidly-changing Arctic is important to furthering national interests and addressing issues of global importance. The Arctic is geographically close to the UK and the extent and quality of British Arctic science and technology can and should earn the UK a voice in Arctic science policy and wider co-operation. The opportunity for this exists through Arctic Council bodies but at present it is not being fully exercised.

380.Two distinct but related problems emerge from the evidence we heard:

381.As long as UK Arctic science is funded as it is at present, on a project-by-project basis, the quality will remain high but there will be little opportunity for further co-ordination beyond that which is already done through the NERC Arctic Office and the host of informal UK and European fora. The relatively short duration of Research Council funding and its spread across a range of Arctic disciplines means that there is relatively little opportunity or incentive for UK researchers to significantly contribute to, let alone influence, the work of the Arctic Council bodies. It has already been noted that there is no budget for non-government UK representatives to attend these meetings and because attendance is occasional and by different people, attendees can be little more than passive observers at the meetings. In any case there is no agreed policy that they should be advancing nor any reporting process.

382.It follows, however, from the evidence from many sources outlined above that there is a clear case to be made for a more coherent and conspicuous UK Arctic research presence both on grounds of foreign and commercial policy and broader scientific and technological considerations. UK Arctic science requires funding and investment appropriate to the vital importance of research to the UK’s role and standing in the Arctic, the scale of the challenges and knowledge gaps found there, and the increasing impact of Arctic changes on the UK.

383.To achieve this, the UK must establish a new national Arctic research programme, including both natural and social sciences, with clear objectives and its own dedicated long-term funding. This new programme should be the vehicle for substantial increases in funding for and investment in UK Arctic science through the next two Parliaments (surpassing the £15 million programme for 2010–15). Although science in the Arctic is significantly less expensive than that carried out in the Antarctic, it still requires continuity of funding at an effective level. The role of the Arctic Office is likely to be central to the co-ordination and implementation of this long-term programme, implying a senior and influential role for the director or co-ordinator of Arctic science.

384.There will also need to be clear policy decisions on UK requirements for regular representation on Arctic Council bodies: appropriate individuals will need to be identified and properly funded to attend. They should submit reports to the FCO and head of the Arctic research programme, who should ensure that they are properly disseminated and published where appropriate. We consider that it makes sense to co-locate any organisational centre for UK Arctic science with the British Antarctic Survey, as at present, but operational budgets for Arctic and Antarctic science will need to be clearly separate.

385.We recommend that discussions be initiated by the FCO, involving the Government Chief Scientific Adviser and the UK Research Councils, with a view to establishing a substantial long-term programme of Arctic research and fully effective representation on Arctic Council bodies. Relevant partners from industry and technology developers and appropriate NGOs should be fully consulted and involved in the programme.


Co-ordinating the UK’s diplomatic presence in Arctic co-operation

386.We heard from Arctic scientists that “the best the UK can do in the Arctic context” is to furnish the best scientific advice and “provide leadership in the international political realm based on that advice.”578 The Geological Society also saw in the development of the Arctic an opportunity for the UK to demonstrate “international leadership” in a number of areas, including science, the extractive industry, robust regulation, and environmental monitoring and protection.579

387.However, the impression we have gained is that, despite the best efforts of the FCO’s Polar Regions Department, the UK’s current presence in Arctic co-operation is lacking in prioritisation and co-ordination and needs to be strengthened in order to increase British influence in the region.580 The PRD admitted that it was “a challenge” to ensure it had a broad overview of the issues arising or likely to arise in the UK’s Arctic interests and co-operation and that Government policies touching on the Arctic were consistent with each other.581 The Department does a lot of “facilitating” engagement with the Arctic Council and other Arctic bodies by a range of Government departments and agencies, using the cross-Whitehall Arctic network.582 Jane Rumble told us that in co-ordinating Arctic-related policies, the PRD had “had some hits and some misses.”583

388.All eight Arctic states have appointed special Arctic envoys, special representatives or Arctic Ambassadors.584 France, Japan, Poland and Singapore have also appointed Ambassadors in charge of Arctic affairs; we heard that it was probably good practice for Government departments and agencies to have a focal point on the Arctic and one person to oversee all the diverse issues and actors.585 Duncan Depledge recommended that the Government should appoint a special representative to the Arctic based in the PRD, who would be accountable for the delivery of UK Arctic policies, chair the cross-Whitehall Arctic network, be able to scrutinise the development of Arctic-related policy across Government, and provide a rallying point for stakeholders (including businesses and NGOs).586

389.The PRD have considered whether a UK Arctic Ambassador is necessary, and “come to the conclusion ‘probably not’”.587 Ms Rumble’s assessment was that existing observer state Arctic Ambassadors had not had as much impact as had been hoped for them, perhaps because they were not sufficiently integrated and “across all the detail”.588

390.The UK can and should be more active in Arctic affairs. Our view is that the Government should follow the example of others in appointing a UK Ambassador for the Arctic, based in the FCO’s Polar Regions Department, to ensure greater focus on and co-ordination of Arctic affairs in Government. The Ambassador should chair the cross-Whitehall Arctic network. He or she should also prioritise bringing together the UK Arctic science, policy, academic, industry and business communities in order to strengthen opportunities for the UK in the region and spearhead UK interests in the Arctic.

391.The post-holder would work to raise awareness of the growing importance of the Arctic within Government, to co-ordinate Government policies touching on the Arctic, and to build a UK Arctic community stretching beyond Government. He or she should ideally have scientific credentials, enabling close working with the director or co-ordinator for UK Arctic research discussed above, and improving the connection between science and policy in the country’s Arctic engagement.589

392.One of the roles of the UK Ambassador to the Arctic could be to gather together frequently those in the UK with Arctic expertise, including in the commercial sector (see paragraph 348 above), so that they can gain from each other’s knowledge and experience of working in the region. Government officials and even Ministers working on the Arctic in the FCO would thus meet regularly in large and small fora with colleagues not just in other Government departments and agencies, but also with the UK’s Arctic natural and social science communities and with UK industry and campaign groups with Arctic interests, so that intelligence about the Arctic can be shared. That intelligence would include research-based information and insights into the direction of events in the Arctic including within its international relations and international scientific co-operation. In this way, investment in supporting the UK’s research on the Arctic and diplomatic presence in Arctic co-operation would reap economic (as well as political) benefits for the UK.

393.Such an Arctic champion within Government might also help to ensure a greater prominence for the Polar Regions Department within the FCO. The PRD consists of seven civil servants, of whom only three work on the Arctic, none exclusively. Dr Dmitriy Tulupov recommended establishing a special analytical division within the PRD of five to seven specialists to provide “full-fledged information support of the UK Arctic policy decision-making.”590 The PRD sits within the Overseas Territories Directorate because it administers the British Antarctic Territory, but this is not a completely natural fit for Arctic affairs. The relevant Minister has so many disparate areas of responsibility that the Arctic is not mentioned on the website describing his role.591

394.As the Arctic grows in importance, the resourcing and possibly the organisational location of the PRD may need to be reviewed.

Increasing the UK’s diplomatic presence in Arctic co-operation

395.We heard that the UK needs to be better represented at international meetings relating to the Arctic (see paragraph 381 above). The PRD co-ordinates Government representation and scientific input through the cross-Whitehall Arctic network and Arctic Office. Jane Rumble told us that the issue of funding for attending meetings came up “all the time”, saying “We just cannot attend every single meeting.” She emphasised that “we always weigh up the value for money—what we would expect to achieve and how important it is for the UK.”592

396.While Ms Rumble could not think of an example where the PRD felt that the UK needed to be represented and the funding could not be found, the FCO had increasingly been relying on representation by various locally-based Science and Innovation Network officers as “a creative way of reducing the resource burden”.593

397.Ms Rumble also argued that “you do not necessarily have to be there at every meeting to make sure that your interests are not prejudiced” and that the PRD had prioritised its engagement, engaging less with the working groups than at a level feeding into them.594 From June 2013 to November 2014, the Government was represented at only two working group meetings out of 18 (on conservation of Arctic flora and fauna, and sustainable development), and at seven task force meetings out of 16 (although the Government was given insufficient notice of one meeting to attend), although these figures do not take into account participation by UK scientists at those meetings or in the work feeding into them.595

398.Ms Rumble conceded that “Some of the Arctic states say, ‘You should come along more often’”, and this was echoed by Ambassador Eikeland, who stressed that “observers cannot come to only one meeting in a working group and then come back next year, and expect to have influence. You have to have continuity and you need commitment.”596 We regard face-to-face meetings as important for developing relationships, but we note the possibility for participants taking part remotely through videoconferencing: the Arctic Council should be encouraged to explore the opportunities for doing so, given the large distances involved.

399.The PRD also get invited to so many conferences on the Arctic that they “cannot cover them all”.597 Elizabeth Kirk stressed the importance, given the limitations on UK participation in the Arctic Council and other regional fora, of seeking “additional locations for action”, such as global climate change negotiations and organisations on shipping and the regulation of extractive industries—the UK has been particularly active in the International Maritime Organisation’s work on the Polar Code.598 The UK is a member of a number of international intergovernmental organisations which monitor changes in the Arctic. We note that UN agencies use regional areas of application which bifurcate around the Pole, rather than dealing with the Arctic as a coherent region: UK delegates to those agencies should be aware of their potential relevance to the Arctic, and communicate with the PRD about any relevant issues. Stratton Park Associates recommended that the UK should play a central role in the drawing up of an integrated and coherent EU Arctic Policy during 2015.599

400.While we appreciate the PRD’s sensitivity to ensuring value for money in the representation of the Government and UK Arctic research in Arctic fora, our view is that it is important for the UK to be not just occasionally but consistently and authoritatively represented at Arctic Council meetings, meetings of other Arctic co-operation bodies, and meetings of organisations working on Arctic-related issues and treaties. The appointment of a UK Arctic Ambassador, with funding to support that role, would be central to the delivery of this objective. When it is the collective view that the UK ought to be represented at a particular Arctic meeting the relevant department or research council should be required to provide and fund such representation.

401.The UK Parliament should also make a contribution to representing the UK in Arctic fora: we recommend that the House of Lords and House of Commons should ensure that UK Parliamentarians regularly attend the Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region as observers.

Publishing a successor to the 2013 Arctic Policy Framework

402.Re-emphasising the Government’s commitment to Arctic engagement would help the UK to make a full contribution diplomatically, scientifically and economically.600

403.The UK must become more effective in communicating its connections to the Arctic and its strengths in knowledge, skills and businesses with relevance to the Arctic, and what it offers to the Arctic as a near Arctic state.

404.Jane Rumble explained that the Government’s 2013 document, Adapting To Change: UK policy towards the Arctic, was a ‘policy framework’ rather than a ‘strategy’ because of an understanding that some Arctic states felt that a ‘strategy’ implied direct control.601 The Government has strategies in various policy areas relating to the Arctic, such as climate change and the safety of shipping, and these are brought together in the policy framework rather than the UK having an overarching Arctic ‘strategy’.602 We note, however, that Ambassador Eikeland nonetheless referred to the Policy Framework as “the British Arctic strategy”, suggesting that there may be more sensitivity about the word in British circles than elsewhere.603

405.Tim Reilly (Arctic Advisory Group) criticised the confusion and hesitation “constitutionally” engendered by the Policy Framework, and argued that there was a need for a “definitive UK Arctic Policy” reflecting increasing British interests in the region—a need, he considered, compounded by fierce and increasing competition from non-Arctic states which he argued have “created substantive national Arctic policies with the full acknowledgment and encouragement” of the Arctic Council. He feared that the lack of a definitive ‘policy’ might indicate to other states “a lack of British economic/societal commitment, and political intent” regarding the Arctic. Without “a clear strategic policy” representing the UK’s unique contribution, he concluded, “the UK’s efforts in the Arctic will be limited—tactical rather than strategic, non-linear in effect, and incoherent to our allies in the region”.604

406.Jane Rumble defended the Government’s stance, saying that Arctic states were not telling the Government that the UK needed to do things differently, and reiterating the need to tread a fine line between engaging with Arctic states on matters of mutual interest “while not saying suddenly that we are more Arctic than one of the Arctic states.”605 We were told that the UK had been the first non-Arctic country to produce its own Arctic vision, and that if new Arctic Council observer states such as Singapore, South Korea and Japan seemed more enthusiastic than the UK, this was because they were “playing catch-up” while the UK was “leading the pack”.606

407.The Government’s 2013 Arctic Policy Framework was a good first step. However, in the quickly changing context of Arctic co-operation it now seems too hesitant and cautious. Other Arctic Council observer states are assertive about their interests in the Arctic and the UK should be too. The Government should commission a new version of the document within the next year. The new version should be bolder in presenting the UK as a premier partner in the Arctic.

408.The UK’s boosted focus on and enthusiasm for engagement in the Arctic should be reflected by upgrading the revised document to an Arctic ‘strategy’; in our view this would in no way diminish the Government’s proper respect for the primacy of Arctic states and residents.

409.Duncan Depledge recommended a review of the Policy Framework in 2015, and that as part of this review, every Government department involved in Arctic policy development should be required to reassess whether the priority afforded to their Arctic-related interests was still appropriate given the dynamism of regional developments.607 The PRD will no doubt consult across the Government and, we hope, the UK Arctic natural and social science community in devising an Arctic strategy. The Government should also consult the UK’s devolved administrations in doing so, as Arctic expertise and interests are distributed widely across the country.

410.The Government has pledged to keep the Policy Framework under review and subject to renewal.608 The Arctic strategy should be updated at least every five years, and more often if the rapid pace of change in the Arctic demands.609

411.WWF also recommended that the FCO share its experience of developing Arctic policy with other non-Arctic states with interests in the region: we are sure the PRD would not miss the soft power benefits to be had from such international engagement.610


412.The PRD’s role in ensuring sufficient attention within Government to the opportunities and challenges arising in the Arctic should be supported by the focusing effect of ongoing public and Parliamentary scrutiny. The Government will respond to this report in a Command Paper published after the General Election and a debate in the House of Lords will follow.

413.We recommend that the Government should write to the Chairman of the House of Lords Liaison Committee (which recommended the establishment of this ad hoc Committee) to update the House on the progress that has been made between a year and 18 months after the publication of the Government’s response.

414.We further recommend that the Minister responsible for the Polar Regions should write to the Chairman of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee at least annually, updating that Committee on the progress of Arctic co-operation and the UK’s contribution to it through all Government departments, sections of the FCO and Government-funded work.

Bilateral relationships

415.The UK’s bilateral relationships with Arctic states are also, naturally, important. The UK has very strong bilateral relationships with many of the eight Arctic states, including through history, trade, defence alliances and science.611 We received plentiful evidence about the desirability of closer bilateral co-operation, particularly on Arctic science, with other Arctic Council observer states such as Japan and Singapore; Dr Aki Tonami of the University of Copenhagen suggested setting up a forum with countries such as Japan to engage political, business and scientific communities on the Arctic.612

416.The UK should continue to look for opportunities to strengthen its bilateral relationships with the eight Arctic states, and to build bilateral links related to the Arctic with other Arctic Council observer states, in order to make progress on Arctic science and policy issues and look for efficiencies. For example, the UK should explore whether it might be helpful to invite observer states without Svalbard research bases (such as Singapore) to use British scientific resources at Ny-Ålesund in order to enhance its relationships with those states, and possibly share burdens. The UK Arctic Ambassador would be well-placed to look for such opportunities.


The UK’s role in security co-operation around the Arctic

417.The Arctic Policy Framework says that the UK “remains committed to preserving the stability and security of the Arctic region.”613 It is very much in the UK’s interest to continue to engage with its allies in the region militarily.614 NATO is central to the UK’s relationship with the five Arctic states which are members of NATO, and is the primary route through which the UK discusses security and defence relationships with those countries.615

418.Although neither the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review or the 2010 National Security Strategy discussed the Arctic region, the 2014 UK National Strategy for Maritime Security said that the opening of Arctic shipping routes presents the UK with potential new maritime security threats, and noted that international co-operation would be an essential means of managing this.616 The MoD is aware of the importance of anti-submarine operations in this area and will need to keep this issue under constant review, together with its NATO allies.

419.Professor Alex Calvo (Law Department of Nagoya University) argued that the Government “must ensure that the Armed Forces retain and develop the means and expertise to operate in Arctic and near-Arctic environments”, as only countries with those capabilities were likely to become serious players in the region, including economically. He recommended increasing military co-operation and joint training with Canada and Norway, and including Japan.617

420.Elements of the UK Armed Forces undertake cold-weather training in Norway and engage in Norwegian-led Arctic-based NATO exercises.618 The UK also engages in bilateral partnerships and plurilateral security co-operation groupings including the Northern Group: these reassure allies and help them improve their defence capacities, yield training opportunities for UK forces, and “generally contribute to a strong political and military fabric across the ‘sub-Arctic’ region”.619

421.The MoD told us that the Armed Forces’ cold-weather warfare training has been reduced since 2010.620 Matthew Willis (Royal United Services Institute) argued that the Government should commit to maintaining or increasing cold-weather training in Norway, both to ensure the facilities remain open and to provide the kind of tangible engagement that he considered Norway was seeking from its NATO allies.621

Arctic security resources

422.We heard about limitations to the UK’s physical capabilities for operating in polar conditions: the MoD has reduced its Antarctic helicopter capability,622 its surface ships go to the high north but not into Arctic waters, and the UK has had no significant maritime patrol aircraft capability since the last of the Nimrod MR2s was retired in 2010.623

423.The UK should replace its maritime patrol capability through the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review, Mr Willis recommended, saying that Norway had been patrolling a portion of the North Sea that would ordinarily be the UK’s responsibility, and that the expenditure was justified by the likelihood of increased maritime traffic in the Greenland-Iceland-UK gap and North Sea.624 Luke Coffey (The Heritage Foundation) argued that without maritime patrol aircraft, “the UK is blind in the Arctic” and that while the UK had mitigated the loss of the capability with short-term solutions, the gap “could become a critical and long-term problem”.625

424.Nimrod aircraft were previously available at short notice for search and rescue operations, and were used to locate aircraft, ships and people in the water and co-ordinate rescue efforts, as well as carrying survival equipment. Former Chief Coastguard Rod Johnson told us that since the loss of the maritime patrol aircraft, what the UK had been able to offer Iceland and Denmark in terms of support for search and rescue activities had been limited in terms of reach.626 We discuss search and rescue in paragraphs 309 and 310.

425.Julian Brazier MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the MoD, told us that the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review will look “very carefully” at the question of the UK’s maritime patrol aircraft capacity. We were told that Nimrod aircraft had not generally been deployed outside the UK region for search and rescue purposes, but that other assets including HMS Scott, the Royal Navy’s ice-enabled ocean survey vessel, and other aircraft were capable of operating in the region.627

426.Manson Oceanographic Consultancy recommended that the UK should use the Royal Navy’s survey vessels to gather hydrographic data in the Arctic (collaborating with Arctic partners where possible), highlighting that doing so would have the benefit of exercising the UK’s rights as a non-littoral state to operate within Arctic waters, and suggested that the Government consider developing its capability to support policing in the Arctic high seas area.628

427.Given the increasing importance of the Arctic region and the UK’s interests in the Antarctic, the Ministry of Defence should maintain and develop its cold-weather operational capabilities, expertise and resources.

428.The 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review must give urgent consideration to reintroducing a maritime patrol capability for the UK. This is needed for both defence and search and rescue operations.

Other UK state-led contributions to Arctic co-operation

429.The UK has strengths and capacities relevant to Arctic co-operation in fields such as search and rescue (see above), hydrography and weather prediction, in addition to its scientific expertise. The UK leads the world in hydrography, Julian Brazier MP told us; the maps produced by the UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO, a trading fund of the MoD) cover large areas of the Arctic and its work there is supported by the Royal Navy’s survey vessels.629

430.However, mapping the Arctic is a comparatively low priority for the UKHO: the UK’s national hydrographer, Rear Admiral Tom Karsten, told us that he wanted to increase engagement with his Russian colleagues to improve hydrography along the Northern Sea Route, and that the UK was seeking to become an observer at the Arctic Regional Hydrographic Commission.630 Rear Admiral Karsten wished to be able to “continue to offer such expertise as we have for the greater good of hydrography around the world, particularly in the Arctic”.631 Manson Oceanographic Consultancy told us that the UK should support the improvement of charts for the Arctic, not least to retain the UKHO’s “prime position” in the world.632

431.The UK Met Office is a world leader for global and North Atlantic forecasting, and should be supported in developing an Arctic weather and ice forecasting service, Manson Oceanographic Consultancy argued, noting that UKHO and the Met Office are ideally placed to “provide world class forecasting and charting services that would also provide significant income streams for the UK.”633 The Met Office forecast is one of the leading global forecast products.634

432.The UK is also well known for its higher education sector, which includes centres of expertise on Arctic issues reaching beyond natural science to include social science relating to Arctic indigenous peoples, geography and politics.635 Dr Jan-Gunnar Winther told us that when Norway had decided to make the high north its “first priority”, the government chose to “build up academic capacity”, including bringing social sciences, natural sciences and technology experts together in the Fram Centre in Tromsø (where we met him).636

433.The government of Singapore is partnering with the National University of Singapore to set up an Arctic affairs programme, and providing research fellowships on Arctic legal issues at the University’s Centre for International Law, while companies there are working with the University’s Corporate Laboratory to undertake research in Arctic technology. A postgraduate scholarship, open to Arctic indigenous peoples, is offered every year for a masters in maritime law at the University.637 British academics are represented at the University Centre in Svalbard, which teaches international students Arctic courses in English.

434.The UK is also home to world-famous institutions with relevance to the Arctic such as the British Library, National Maritime Museum, Royal Geographical Society and Scott Polar Research Institute Museum, the latter of which has substantial volumes of Russian Arctic research and literature.638

435.The UK higher education sector could further build on its Arctic strengths by building up courses and offering international scholarships at all levels in Arctic science, technology, geology, engineering, social sciences, health and mental health and strengthening its academic collaborations with Arctic states and other Arctic observer states such as Singapore and Japan, and with Arctic academic institutions such as the University Centre in Svalbard.

436.The UK’s existing world-class museum and cultural sector should build further connections and collaborations with similar institutions in the Arctic region. There is already impressive evidence of collaboration within the UK, but this could be expanded upon as part of the enhancement of UK soft power.639

437.The UK should be making use of its expertise in areas such as hydrography, weather and ice prediction in its relationships with the Arctic states through the Arctic Council and other Arctic fora in order to ensure that the UK is considered a primary partner in the Arctic, earning the UK both influence and commercial benefits in the region. The Government should support the UK Hydrographic Office in developing the links required to work effectively with partners in Arctic states, in order that it is able to respond to demand for new charting of Arctic waters.

Drawing together commercial strengths

438.As explored above (see Chapter 5), there are many commercial entities based in or particularly connected with the UK which operate in Arctic industries, territories and waters or provide technologies, materials and services to those which do.640 It is in the UK’s economic interests to expand its commercial involvement in the region.641 The Government told us that it “will advocate for and facilitate responsible business activity in the region by British companies”.642 Ambassador Óskarsson (Iceland) felt that on resource development in the Arctic, “the UK could raise its profile individually much more than it does today.”643

439.UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) has promoted opportunities for British mining companies in the Arctic by hosting a mining trade mission to Finland in 2013 and an Arctic mining conference in London in 2014, and sponsoring an Arctic event at the International Festival for Business in Liverpool in June 2014 as well as “various prosperity events across the Arctic”.644 UK diplomatic posts in Arctic states also offer assistance.645 Jane Rumble told us that there was “quite an active forum of support” for UK companies involved with the Arctic, although there have been no Arctic-specific trade missions to the Arctic in the last three years.646

440.Richard Morgan, head of government relations for the mining firm Anglo American, was not aware of Arctic-specific support from the Government, and Claude Perras, head of sustainability for London Mining, was critical of embassy support and felt the Government “could do much more to support British industry”, including through supporting the development of local infrastructure necessary for commercial resource development, which he said other countries were doing.647 Dr Tulupov saw a role for the Government in supporting bilateral intergovernmental forums that created platforms for the promotion of regional projects by politicians and business leaders: he suggested a UK-Russian forum or commission on Arctic co-operation.648

441.A number of our witnesses suggested efforts to bring together UK commercial expertise on the Arctic. Mr Kingston proposed a UK forum on Arctic maritime issues for sharing knowledge between industry, Government, the research community and others (as well as a circumpolar forum along similar lines).649 Professor Wall suggested a mechanism to ensure Arctic mining interests in the UK were involved in and kept up to date with the results of research and best practice studies in the UK, and that the Government could help ensure that there was a mechanism for such results to be shared with the Arctic Council.650 Mr Reilly suggested that external expertise should be invited to participate in Government committees or meetings working on UK Arctic policy formulation.651

442.As discussed in paragraph 390 above, we recommend that a UK Arctic Ambassador work to connect UK expertise on Arctic diplomatic relations, science and commercial opportunities and intelligence.

Drawing upon the UK’s local strengths

443.It should not be forgotten, in considering the contribution of ‘the UK’ to activities in the Arctic, that expertise on the Arctic is distributed across different parts of the country, sometimes with specific interests.

444.Northern and Eastern UK ports might be well-placed to take advantage of the expansion of shipping through the Northern Sea Route (and eventually the polar route).652 Cambridge is home to the Scott Polar Research Institute and British Antarctic Survey, Aberdeen is a centre of knowledge and experience on hydrocarbon extraction,653 and London is a particularly well-established hub for maritime law and maritime service industries, including insurance and reinsurance, brokerage and financing.654

445.The fact that cities such as London and Aberdeen are already recognised to some extent as centres of Arctic expertise brings home the degree to which UK scientists, academics, diplomats, businessmen and other experts are already respected partners in the Arctic, as well as accentuating the UK’s proximity to the region. The Government needs to ensure that the devolved administrations are able to participate appropriately in the UK’s Arctic activities.

446.The UK is the Arctic’s nearest neighbour and the Arctic is the UK’s neighbourhood: the Government must invest in this relationship to reap benefits for the UK and for international common interests.

490 Q 1, Q 319 (Jane Rumble), written evidence from Luke Coffey (ARC0017), Daniel Kochis (ARC0019), Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Adapting To Change: UK policy towards the Arctic (2013)

491 Q 10 (Henry Burgess), written evidence from the NERC Arctic Office (ARC0028), Duncan Depledge (ARC0011)

492 Q 4, Q 319 (Jane Rumble), Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Adapting To Change: UK policy towards the Arctic (2013)

493 Q 1, Q 4, Q 319 (Jane Rumble)

494 Q 2 (Jane Rumble), Q 280 (HE Else Berit Eikeland), Q 287 (HE Claus Grube)

495 Written evidence from WWF-UK (ARC0050), Q 249 (Rod Downie), written evidence from the Arctic Advisory Group (ARC0060), and Dr Dougal Goodman (ARC0022)

496 Written evidence from Dr Dmitriy S. Tulupov (ARC0009)

497 Written evidence from Arctic Athabaskan Council (ARC0014)

498 Q 317 (Alan Kessel), Q 233 (Vincent Rigby), Q 274, Q 280 (HE Else Berit Eikeland)

499 See Q 1 (Jane Rumble)

500 Q 1 (Jane Rumble)

501 Written evidence from Luke Coffey (ARC0017), Daniel Kochis (ARC0019), Q 1 (Jane Rumble)

502 Written evidence from Luke Coffey (ARC0017)

503 Q 1 (Jane Rumble)

504 Written evidence from Daniel Kochis (ARC0019)

505 Written evidence from Stratton Park Associates (ARC0025), Q 319 (Jane Rumble), written evidence from Daniel Kochis (ARC0019), see also written evidence from Duncan Depledge (ARC0011). Examples include BP, Shell and Anglo American.

506 Written evidence from Duncan Depledge (ARC0011)

507 Q 201 (Dr Michael Engell-Jensen), written evidence from Daniel Kochis (ARC0019), Q 1, Q 319 (Jane Rumble), written evidence from OGP (ARC0034), the Geological Society (ARC0031), Duncan Depledge (ARC0011)

508 Written evidence from Daniel Kochis (ARC0019)

509 HMRC, Summary of import and export trade with EU and non-EU countries: [accessed 19 February 2015]. Figures have been adjusted for rounding.

510 Joint statement by the Prime Ministers of Norway and the UK, January 2011: [accessed 19 February 2015]

511 Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Adapting To change: UK policy towards the Arctic (2013)

512 Joint statement by the Prime Ministers of Norway and the UK, January 2011: [accessed 19 February 2015]

513 Written evidence from Daniel Kochis (ARC0019)

514 Ibid.

515 Q 269 (Prof Jane Francis), Q 83 (Dr Nalân Koç)

516 Written evidence from Duncan Depledge (ARC0011) and WWF-UK (ARC0050), Q 83 (Dr Nalân Koç) Q 269 (Jane Francis). See paragraph 70.

517 Q 20 (Dr Sheldon Bacon), written evidence from the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (ARC0059), NERC (ARC0041), National Oceanography Centre (ARC0032)

518 Q 1, Q 12 (Jane Rumble)

519 See Q 269 (Prof Jane Francis). Prof Boulton said, “My view—I think the [Royal] Society’s view—very much is that there is a big opportunity here for us to engage in a fundamental way in an area of the earth that is changing probably more rapidly than any other and is going to suffer from very important human intervention” (Q 164).

520 See written evidence from Dr Aki Tonami (ARC0008)

521 Written evidence from Prof Andy Shepherd (ARC0045), Q 13 (Jane Rumble), Q 269 (Prof Julian Dowdeswell)

522 Written evidence from BAS (ARC0018)

523 Written evidence from Prof Terry V. Callaghan (ARC0030)

524 27, written evidence from Dr Ed Hawkins, Dr Sheldon Bacon and Prof Chris Rapley (ARC0013)

525 Q 261 (Prof Julian Dowdeswell). See also written evidence from Prof Terry V. Callaghan (ARC0030), Q 263 (Prof Julian Dowdeswell), written evidence from the Geological Society (ARC0031), the Royal Society (ARC0047), NERC Arctic Office (ARC0028), Q 13 (Jane Rumble), Q 27 (Dr Sheldon Bacon). The Arctic Office represents the UK on international Arctic science co-ordination bodies including the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) Council, the Forum of Arctic Research Operators and SAON (Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks), and is a permanent observer to the European Polar Board. The Office told us that it has organised a significant UK presence in all the IASC scientific working groups and supported UK involvement in more focussed Arctic co-ordination bodies such as the International Science Initiative in the Russian Arctic, as well as supporting the UK Polar Network and the international Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (written evidence from the NERC Arctic Office (ARC0028)).

526 49 (Dr Jeffrey Mazo)

527 Written evidence from Prof Andy Shepherd (ARC0045). Jane Rumble told us, “A Danish report quite recently put the UK as having the third largest share of articles on the Arctic and also a high citation index” (Q 13).

528 Written evidence from Prof Andy Shepherd (ARC0045)

529 Written evidence from NERC (ARC0041), the Royal Society (ARC0047), NERC Arctic Office (ARC0028)

530 Written evidence from NERC (ARC0041), the Geological Society (ARC0031), the Royal Society (ARC0047), the National Oceanography Centre (ARC0032), 263 (Prof Jane Francis). The NERC Arctic Research Programme funding has been supplemented by additional, associated projects funded by NERC, the US Office of Naval Research, and the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

531 Q 263 (Prof Jane Francis)

532 Written evidence from Prof Terry V. Callaghan (ARC0030). See also written evidence from the National Oceanography Centre (ARC0032)

533 Written evidence from the Met Office (ARC0044), Alan Gadian (ARC0036), Q 27 (Dr Ed Hawkins), written evidence from Dr Ed Hawkins, Dr Sheldon Bacon, and Prof Chris Rapley (ARC0013), the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (ARC0021) and Prof Andy Shepherd (ARC0045), Q 261 (Prof Jane Francis)

534 We heard that the Met Office runs “one of the foremost global operational weather forecasting systems” and “has one of the best Arctic ice models” (written evidence from the World Meteorological Office’s (WMO’s) Polar Prediction Project (ARC0026), Q 13 (Jane Rumble). See also written evidence from Prof Andy Shepherd (ARC0045).

535 This Centre “provides world-leading expertise in observing and modelling Arctic sea and land ice” (written evidence from Prof Andy Shepherd (ARC0045)).

536 Written evidence from Dr Ed Hawkins, Dr Sheldon Bacon, and Prof Chris Rapley (ARC0013). See also written evidence from the WMO’s Polar Prediction Project (ARC0026).

537 Written evidence from the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (ARC0021), Prof Andy Shepherd (ARC0045). See also written evidence from NERC (ARC0041), National Oceanography Centre (ARC0032), Q 272, Q 261 (Prof Julian Dowdeswell)

538 ‘Ice2sea’ and ‘ICE-ARC’: written evidence from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) (ARC0018)

539 Q 270 (Dr Ray Leakey), Q 261 (Prof Julian Dowdeswell), written evidence from the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (ARC0059)

540 Written evidence from NERC (ARC0041)

541 Written evidence from Prof Damon A.H. Teagle (ARC0029), Q 261 (Dr Ray Leakey), Q 27 (Prof Chris Rapley), Q 13 (Jane Rumble), written evidence from Prof Andy Shepherd (ARC0045)

542 Q 261 (Prof Julian Dowdeswell), written evidence from the Geological Society (ARC0031)

543 David Crouch, ‘UK firm takes the cloud to chillier climes with Swedish data centre’, The Guardian, (22 October 2014): [accessed 19 February 2015]

544 Written evidence from NERC (ARC0041), the National Oceanography Centre (ARC0032), Q 27 (Prof Chris Rapley), written evidence from the Geological Society (ARC0031), the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) (ARC0018) and the NERC Arctic Office (ARC0028)

545 Written evidence from NERC (ARC0041)

546 Written evidence from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) (ARC0018), NERC (ARC0041), Q 27 (Prof Chris Rapley), the Geological Society (ARC0031), NERC Arctic Office (ARC0028)

547 Written evidence from NERC (ARC0041), the Geological Society (ARC0031), and Prof Andy Shepherd (ARC0045)

548 Written evidence from the Geological Society (ARC0031)

549 Written evidence from the NERC Arctic Office (ARC0028), BAS (ARC0018), and Duncan Depledge (ARC0011)

550 Written evidence from the NERC Arctic Office (ARC0028), see Q 263 (Prof Jane Francis)

551 Q 263 (Prof Jane Francis)

552 Q 262 (Prof Jane Francis)

553 Q 262 Prof Jane Francis), Q 262 (Dr Ray Leakey)

554 Q 321 (Jane Rumble)

555 Written evidence from Prof Andy Shepherd (ARC0045)

556 Written evidence from Prof Andy Shepherd (ARC0045)

557 Written evidence from the NERC Arctic Office (ARC0028)

558 Written evidence from Prof Frances Wall (ARC0056). UK social scientists have made contributions directly through participating in the work of Arctic Council groups and indirectly through producing peer-reviewed research cited in Arctic Council working group assessments and reports.

559 Q 262 (Prof Jane Francis). See also written evidence from NERC (ARC0041) and the NERC Arctic Office (ARC0028), Q 268 (Prof Julian Dowdeswell).

560 See written evidence from the NERC Arctic Office (ARC0028).

562 Q 81 (Dr Jan-Gunnar Winther)

563 Q 268 (Prof Jane Francis), written evidence from the British Antarctic Survey (ARC0018)

564 Q 268 (Prof Jane Francis)

565 QQ 81–2 (Dr Jan-Gunnar Winther)

567 49 (Dr Jeffrey Mazo), Q 249 (Dr Martin Sommerkorn), 249 (Rod Downie), written evidence from WWF-UK (ARC0050)

568 Q 279 (HE Thórdur Aegir Óskarsson)

569 Q 263 (Dr Ray Leakey), Q 27 (Prof Chris Rapley). See also 317 (Alan Kessel), written evidence from Elizabeth Kirk (ARC0015). The UK has been involved in contributing to the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme, Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment and Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna working groups, and the UK has embedded Arctic researchers in recent Arctic Council projects on Arctic biodiversity, persistent organic pollutants, black carbon, greenhouse gases, ocean acidification, cryosphere interactions with the climate and Arctic scientific co-operation (Q 263 (Dr Ray Leakey), written evidence from the NERC Arctic Office (ARC0028)).

570 Q 280 (HE Else Berit Eikeland)

571 Q 27 (Prof Chris Rapley), written evidence from Dr Richard Powell (ARC0053), Q 277 (HE Else Berit Eikeland)

572 Q 263, Q 267 (Prof Jane Francis), written evidence from the Canadian Polar Commission (ARC0040), written evidence from Duncan Depledge (ARC0011) and written evidence from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (ARC0024)

573 Q 268 (Prof Jane Francis)

574 Q 263 (Prof Jane Francis), written evidence from the Met Office (ARC0044) and the WMO’s Polar Prediction Project (ARC0026)

575 Q 265 (Prof Jane Francis)

576 Q 94 (Dr Jan-Gunnar Winther). See also written evidence from the National Oceanography Centre (ARC0032), Q 267 (Dr Ray Leakey), written evidence from Prof Terry V. Callaghan (ARC0030), and the Canadian Polar Commission (ARC0040).

578 Written evidence from Dr Sheldon Bacon, Dr Ed Hawkins and Prof Chris Rapley (ARC0013)

579 Written evidence from the Geological Society (ARC0031)

580 Written evidence from Prof Terry V. Callaghan (ARC0030)

581 Q 10 (Jane Rumble)

582 Q 10 (Jane Rumble), 10 (Henry Burgess), written evidence from Michael Kingston (ARC0054)

583 Q 320 (Jane Rumble)

584 Q 320 (Jane Rumble), Q 310 (HE Keiichi Hayashi). HE Else Berit Eikeland, who provided oral evidence, is Norway’s Polar Ambassador: Q 273 (HE Else Berit Eikeland).

585 Q 310 (HE Keiichi Hayashi), Q 320 (Jane Rumble)

586 Written evidence from Duncan Depledge (ARC0011)

587 Q 320 (Jane Rumble)

588 Q 320 (Jane Rumble)

589 See Q 28 (Prof Chris Rapley)

590 Written evidence from Dr Dmitriy S. Tulupov (ARC0009)

591 Responsibilities of the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: [accessed 19 February 2015]. The official website (as at 7 January 2015) describes the Ministerial responsibilities of James Duddridge MP as “Africa; overseas territories (not Falklands, SBAs or Gibraltar); conflict issues; consular; protocol; ministerial oversight for FCO services; the Caribbean (not including Dominican Republic, Haiti or Cuba); illegal Wildlife Trade”. See Q 10 (Henry Burgess).

592 Q 321 (Jane Rumble)

593 Ibid.

594 Ibid.

595 Written evidence from the Arctic Council Secretariat (ARC0068), Q 321 (Jane Rumble)

596 Q 321 (Jane Rumble), Q 280, Q 277 (HE Else Berit Eikeland)

597 Q 12 (Jane Rumble)

598 Written evidence from Elizabeth Kirk (ARC0015), Q 249 (Rod Downie), written evidence from Michael Kingston (ARC0054) and (ARC0070), Q 3 (Jane Rumble)

599 Written evidence from Stratton Park Associates (ARC0025), Council of the European Union, Foreign Affairs Council Meeting, Brussels, 12 May 2014, Council conclusions on developing a European Union Policy towards the Arctic Region: [accessed 19 February 2015]

600 Written evidence from Duncan Depledge (ARC0011)

601 Q 2, Q 322 (Jane Rumble), written evidence from Arctic Advisory Group (ARC0060)

602 Q 322 (Jane Rumble)

603 Q 280 (HE Else Berit Eikeland)

604 Written evidence from Arctic Advisory Group (ARC0060). See also 249 (Rod Downie).

605 Q 319 (Jane Rumble)

606 Q 319 (Julian Brazier MP), Q 319 (Jane Rumble)

607 Written evidence from Duncan Depledge (ARC0011)

608 Q 319 (Jane Rumble), written evidence from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (ARC0024)

609 See written evidence from WWF-UK (ARC0050), Q 249 (Rod Downie), written evidence from Duncan Depledge (ARC0011)

610 Written evidence from WWF-UK (ARC0050), Q 249 (Rod Downie)

611 See for example written evidence from the Canadian Polar Commission (ARC0040) and Dr Dmitriy S. Tulupov (ARC0009)

612 Written evidence from Prof Damon A.H. Teagle (ARC0029), Dr. Aki Tonami (ARC0008), and Prof Alex Calvo (ARC0007)

613 Written evidence from Luke Coffey (ARC0017), Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Adapting To Change: UK policy towards the Arctic (2013)

614 Q 49 (Christian Le Mière)

615 Q 4 (Debbie Brothers)

616 Written evidence from Luke Coffey (ARC0017), Her Majesty’s Government, The UK National Strategy for Maritime Security, Cm 8829 (May 2014):–40221_national-maritime-strat-Cm_8829_accessible.pdf [accessed 19 February 2015]

617 Written evidence from Prof Alex Calvo (ARC0007)

618 Q 4 (Debbie Brothers), Q 324 (Julian Brazier MP)

619 Written evidence from Matthew Willis (ARC0043)

620 Q 14 (Martin Molloy), written evidence from the Ministry of Defence (ARC0002)

621 Written evidence from Matthew Willis (ARC0043)

622 HMS Protector, the Royal Navy’s ice patrol ship, does not have helicopter capacity; the ship it replaced in 2013, HMS Endurance, did have such capacity.

623 Q14 (Martin Molloy), written evidence from Luke Coffey (ARC0017)

624 Written evidence from Matthew Willis (ARC0043). ‘UK called on Nato help in sub search’, BBC News (9 December 2014): [accessed 19 February 2015]

625 Written evidence from Luke Coffey (ARC0017)

626 Q 216 (Rod Johnson)

627 Q 323, 328 (Julian Brazier MP), Q 323 (Nick Gurr)

628 Written evidence from Manson Oceanographic Consultancy (ARC0005)

629 Q 326 (Julian Brazier MP, Nick Gurr), Q 224, Q 217 (Rear Admiral Tom Karsten)

630 Q 217, Q 218, Q 222 (Rear Admiral Tom Karsten)

631 Q 225 (Rear Admiral Tom Karsten)

632 Written evidence from Manson Oceanographic Consultancy (ARC0005)

633 Written evidence from Manson Oceanographic Consultancy (ARC0005). See also Q 224 (Dr Richard Wood).

634 Q 219 (Dr Richard Wood)

635 Q 153 (Prof Mike Bradshaw), written evidence from Dr Richard C. Powell (ARC0053)

636 82 (Dr Jan-Gunnar Winther)

637 Q 303, Q 306 (HE Foo Chi Hsia)

638 Written evidence from Dr Richard C. Powell (ARC0053), Q 267 (Prof Julian Dowdeswell)

639 British Museum, ‘Arctic research visit underlines importance of community partnerships’: [accessed 19 February 2015]

640 Written evidence from Dr Dougal Goodman (ARC0022)

641 Q 49 (Christian Le Mière)

642 Written evidence from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (ARC0024)

643 Q 279 (HE Thórdur Aegir Óskarsson)

644 Written evidence from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (ARC0024), Q 11 (Jane Rumble), Q 320 (Julian Brazier MP), written evidence from Prof Frances Wall (ARC0056). See also Q 206 (Richard Morgan) and written evidence from Michael Kingston (ARC0054)

645 Q 11 (Jane Rumble)

646 Q 11 (Jane Rumble), written evidence from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (ARC0004), Q 206 (Claude Perras)

647 Q 206 (Richard Morgan, Claude Perras)

648 Written evidence from Dr Dmitriy S. Tulupov (ARC0009)

649 Written evidence from Michael Kingston (ARC0054)

650 Written evidence from Prof Frances Wall (ARC0056)

651 Written evidence from Arctic Advisory Group (ARC0060)

652 Q 79 (Colin Manson), written evidence from Manson Oceanographic Consultancy (ARC0005)

653 Q 110 (Rúni M Hansen). Rúni M Hansen, Vice-President of the Arctic Unit at Statoil, told us in Tromsø that Statoil had recently opened a large office in Aberdeen. See also Q 201 (Dr Michael Engell-Jensen).

654 Written evidence from Manson Oceanographic Consultancy (ARC0005), Dr Dougal Goodman (ARC0022), and Michael Kingston (ARC0054)