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The Deteriorating Arctic and the Impact of the Shipping Industry

September 2019

Citation: ELR 10837

Author: Harsha Pisupati and Armin Rosencranz

Over the past three decades, Arctic sea ice has declined by more than 95%, paving the way for increased shipping activity along sea routes that were previously passable only by powerful icebreakers. This increased shipping activity has the potential to adversely impact marine life, increase local pollution levels, speed up the melting of ice sheets, and severely damage the Arctic ecosystem. This Comment (1) discusses the impact of the shipping industry on climate change, with a special focus on the Arctic region; (2) explores the various international environmental law principles that aim to minimize environmental degradation and their applicability to the Arctic; (3) discusses various international agreements that are specifically drafted to deal with the environmental impact caused by the shipping industry; and (4) offers possible solutions to deal with the deteriorating condition of the Arctic.

Harsha Pisupati is a graduate of Jindal Global Law School in Sonipat, Haryana, India, where Armin Rosencranz is a professor of law.

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