Policy paper

Adapting To Change: UK policy towards the Arctic

The government published this Arctic Policy Framework on 17 October 2013, setting out our overall approach to the Arctic

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Applies to England, Northern Ireland and Wales


Adapting To Change: UK policy towards the Arctic

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Adapting To Change lays out the three principles of respect, leadership and co-operation that underpin the government’s approach.

The UK is respectful of the sovereign rights of the eight Arctic States, the people who live and work in the Arctic, and of the fragile environment. Fundamentally, leadership for Arctic stewardship rests with the eight Arctic States and the peoples within those States. However, where appropriate the UK will show leadership on Arctic matters of global importance, for example in combating the causes of climate change that is having such an effect on the Arctic. It also stresses the need to work in partnership with other countries, business and international organisations to address the complex issues affecting the Arctic.

Adapting To Change sets out a balanced policy which recognises the differences between different parts of the Arctic, and which reconciles the responsibilities of countries to provide effective stewardship of the global environment while providing opportunities for growth and prosperity for their people. It contains a number of actions the government is taking to support effective governance of the Arctic; to help safeguard its environment; while at the same time supporting responsible commercial activity by UK companies.

Published 17 October 2013