Megaprojects in the Arctic

A megaproject in Iceland, at Kárahnjúkar. Read the case study under Economical impacts (Photo: Landsvirkjun)A megaproject in Iceland, at Kárahnjúkar. Read the case study under Economical impacts (Photo: Landsvirkjun)In recent years the Arctic has gained attention due to the changes in the climate and the affects it has had on the northern environment. What is, however, less talked about is the socio-economic situation of the people in Arctic societies.


These socioeconomic realities are not only shaped by the climate change, but also by globalization and changes in global market economies.

It is well known that the Arctic has enormous resources of oil and gas, but there are also other, renewable resources. Ever since the turn to the 20th century, the exploitation of the northern natural resources has become more feasible than ever before - which has accumulated a blossoming of initiatives of so-called megaprojects in northern areas.

These megaprojects are in most cases either financed by multinational corporations or they are state funded in a form of Crown corporations or other publicly owned corporations.


They have been in most cases criticized of being environmental monsters destroying or creating a risk of demolition of large areas of nature around the project with according socioeconomic impacts on local communities.

Even though these megaprojects – huge in scale, both environmentally and financially speaking – are in the first place designed to produce profit for their shareholders with the following consiquences, they have also been in many cases beneficial for the local communities "hosting" the project.


Sources: Megatrends Economies of the North Megaprojects

International Polar Year The Northern Forum University of the Arctic Arctic Council International Arctic Science Comittee Norden Arctic Portal

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