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November 15, 2023 @ 7:30 am - 11:30 pm


India, emerging as a leader in the Global South, has a pivotal role in shaping global climate policies, particularly in the Arctic. The rapid warming of the Arctic, exacerbated by geopolitical tensions and developmental pressures, demands urgent attention. India’s consensus-building prowess, showcased at the G20 Summit, presents a unique opportunity to address the critical issues affecting the Arctic.

Growing Challenges in the Arctic:

Accelerated Warming:

The Arctic experiences a warming rate four times faster than the global average.

Unprecedented loss of sea ice and permafrost thaw are direct outcomes.

Carbon Release Threat:

Thawing permafrost risks releasing vast carbon stores into the atmosphere.

Potential trigger for catastrophic and irreversible climate tipping points.

Global South Impact:

Intricate correlation found between Arctic sea-ice melting and extreme Indian summer monsoon events.

80% of South Asia’s crucial rainfall during the monsoon.

Reasons for Worsening Impact:

Rapid Development:

Russia’s intensive commercialization and expansion along the Northern Sea Route contribute to environmental degradation.

Geopolitical Interests:

Other Arctic nations planning oil and gas projects amid growing geopolitical tensions.

Governance Failures:

Arctic Council, the primary governance mechanism, suspended due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Lack of accountability and monitoring exacerbates the challenges.

Non-representation of Global South:

Arctic Council lacks representation from the Global South, though India and others have observer status.

Arctic Council Overview:


  • Formally established in 1996 through The Ottawa Declaration.
  • An intergovernmental forum fostering cooperation among Arctic States.

Members and Observers:

  • Comprises eight member countries, including Canada, Russia, the United States, and others.
  • Observer status granted to non-Arctic states, including India and China.

Focus and Evolution:

  • Originally focused on environmental concerns and indigenous issues.
  • Evolved to regulate shipping lanes, hydrocarbon prospecting, and marine resource exploitation.

India’s Role:

Consensus Building:

  • India’s demonstrated ability to balance Global North and South interests, as seen at the G20 Summit.
  • Essential for generating unanimity required to reform Arctic governance and protect the climate.

Voice for Global South:

  • Active involvement in the Arctic Council as a member enables India to advocate against further exploitation.
  • Critical to safeguarding global climate and ecosystems, including the Arctic.


India’s growing influence in global forums positions it as a key player in addressing the challenges faced by the Arctic. Leveraging its consensus-building skills, India can advocate for reforms in Arctic governance, ensuring climate protection takes precedence. As India progresses post-G20, its commitment to pushing these reforms can contribute significantly to safeguarding vital global ecosystems, particularly the Arctic, from the impacts of climate change.

Mains Question:

  1. Discuss India’s role in addressing the challenges faced by the Arctic due to climate change. Examine the impact of the rapid warming of the Arctic on the Global South, with a specific focus on India. Highlight the key reasons for the worsening impact and evaluate the significance of India’s participation in the Arctic Council. (150 Words) 10M


November 15, 2023
7:30 am - 11:30 pm
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