By Caitlin Del Sole, Editorial Assistant at European Affairs
It’s cold now, but the north will warm as summer approaches, and so will interest and tension in the Arctic region. Again, large areas of the polar ice will melt making the Arctic Ocean much more navigable and exploitable. The expanding waterways provide an opportunity for new, more direct and less dangerous shipping routes to be developed during the summer months. As roughly 30% of the world’s undiscovered gas and 13% of the world’s undiscovered oil is located in the Arctic, it is an increasingly attractive target of investment and energy. With this new opportunity, however, comes new challenges of safety, environmental protection and conflicting interests. For example, the Financial Times reports recently that companies, like ConocoPhillips, have been pressuring Norway to open up more Arctic water for exploration.