Newsletter: Defense and Pollution in the High North

Fregatten KNM «Thor Heyerdahl» og kystvaktskipet KV «Nordkapp» seiler forbi hverandre på øya Senja
The Norwegian frigate KNM Thor Heyerdahl and the coast guard vessel KV Nordkapp passing each other off the island of Senja during the multinational winter exercise Cold Response 2020. Defense Researcher Tormod Heier argues that Norway should invest in more military vessels in order to be able to control Norway’s immediate areas in the High North itself. (Photo: The Norwegian Navy).

Dear reader, Important measures are taken to lower emissions from shipping; however, scientists were up for a surprise in Svalbard. We also provide insight into a Norwegian officer’s thoughts about Norway’s relationship with Russia.

Carbon emissions from shipping have significant effect on climate changes and the environment in the Arctic. Now, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) takes the crucial first steps towards solving the problem.

However, scientists in Svalbard were up for a surprise when measuring pollution. Actually, the Svalbard air sees the most pollution in spring.

New Cold War?

This week, we interviewed Lieutenant-Colonel and Professor at the Norwegian Defense University College Tormod Heier about his new book “En randstat på avveie? Norges vei inn I den nye kalde krigen, 2014-2021” [A Limitrophe State Gone AWOL? Norway’s Way into the New Cold War 2014-2021].

In the book, Heier investigates how much security Norway can manage to obtain from the USA without at the same time provoking Russian counter-reactions and, through that, creating an escalating spiral in Norway’s immediate areas.

Quite an interesting interview you would not want to miss.

On Thursday, Russia invited the Arctic Council to the first plenary meeting of the Senior Arctic Officials under Russian chairmanship.

Indigenous people and regional cooperation were highlighted as important issues for the time ahead.

Solid measures

Russian authorities take measures to increase habitation in the Arctic. Some 400 companies from Russia’s 50 regions have opened activities in the Murmansk area, where they are offered tax benefits.

And the Russian mining company Nornickel increases its expected revenues by six billion dollars over the next decade.

Please feel free to tip us off about what you want to read about. You can reach us at

All the best wishes for a peaceful advent season!
Trine Jonassen,
News Editor, High North News