Top Arctic stories of the week, 20 -- 24 December 2021

Photo: Karpukhin Sergey

Top Arctic stories of the week, 20 -- 24 December 2021

Below is a recap of this week’s posts by Alexander Stotskiy (CEO, Project Office for Arctic Development) analyzing major international, national and regional events and trends in the Arctic.

Russia is working towards having more icebreakers in the Arctic

Sibir, an Arktika-class icebreaker built at the Baltic Shipyard, has recently completed its sea trials, which means that it is ready for deployment in the Arctic. In turn, its sister ship Arktika left Murmansk for the Eastern Sector of the Northern Sea Route for the first time. The data collected during the voyage will be used by Atomflot to draft recommendations concerning winter navigation on the NSR. Read more…

Developers of the Arctic Standard will consider international best practices

Work is underway to design the so-called Arctic Standard, a key document regulating urban planning, landscaping and reshaping of public space in Arctic settlements. According to the Ministry for the Far East and Arctic, the Standard’s developers seek to base their model on not only Russian, but also best international practices. As part of the Standard, a best practice library and an Arctic design code will be drafted. Read more…

EU is likely to greenlight nuclear power and gas

The European Union will likely include gas and nuclear power as sustainable green-energy investments in its proposed list to be unveiled in mid-January 2022, EU’s internal market chief Thierry Breton said in his recent interview. Including natural gas and nuclear power in a taxonomy being debated by the European Commission may mark an important shift in EU’s energy and climate policies towards a more pragmatic approach. With important regulatory and policy barriers hampering commodity and gas imports removed, the change is likely to stimulate trade between the EU and Russia. Read more…

Nornickel will allocate additional funds to finance the Norilsk Development Plan

Nornickel, a major Russian-based metal producer, intends to invest considerable sums into social and economic development of the Russian Arctic under a 10-year investment program of more than USD 31 billion. Among the company’s top priorities are promoting sustainability, constructing new infrastructure and funding various social initiatives to be implemented in the Norilsk area. For instance, Nornickel made public its decision to add some USD 2 billion to the renovation budget of the city of Norilsk approved by the Government last week. Read more…

Developers of the Russian permafrost monitoring system discussed their progress

Work is underway to establish a national system for monitoring permafrost in the Russian North. To discuss the progress made, the Russian Ministry for Natural Resources and Environment hosted a meeting bringing together key officials and experts involved. The system will be deployed as an addition to the existing environmental data collection network operated by the Hydrometeorology Service. It will report data provided by 140 stations spread throughout the Russian regions with permafrost. Putting in place a permafrost monitoring system in the Russian Arctic is a necessity. Having regular access to up-to-date data on the condition of permafrost will help experts forecast changes and come up with timely solutions to address emerging challenges. Read more…
Alexander Stotskiy
24 December 2021
Arctic Weekly