Climate change and the Arctic
Security implications

Friday 9 June 2023
9:30 – 15:00 CET

The Arctic region is currently undergoing unprecedented changes that are affecting its physical, environmental, economic, and geopolitical realities. These rapid changes are having a significant impact on security in and around the region and pose new challenges for its governance and cooperation.
Despite 25 years of peace and stability following the end of the Cold War, the Arctic’s security governance regime appears to be at a turning point, as its limitations and pitfalls become increasingly apparent.
Rising temperatures are causing melting ice and changing the Arctic ecosystems, while increased attention from external actors, looking to expand its economic and strategic interests, is creating new geopolitical tensions that threaten to spill over into the region
Given these challenges, it is unclear whether Arctic cooperation can survive external shocks and continue to address the broad spectrum of security challenges facing the region. However, there is no doubt that the Arctic’s growing importance on the international agenda is not a passing trend, and that the region will continue to play a key role in shaping tomorrow’s world.
To better understand the complexity of the drivers and conditions of the changing Arctic, it is necessary to examine the key questions and strategic challenges posed by the changing geopolitical dynamics. This includes assessing the persistent tensions between Arctic nations, as well the effects of China’s multidimensional development in the region.
Due to the significant importance of this topic in both current and future global security, this year’s study trip of the Belgian Defence College – Advanced Staff Course to the USA and Canada has the underlying theme of Climate Change and Arctic challenges. To prepare for the study trip closing the academic year, the Belgian Defence College and the Egmont Institute are collaborating to organize a thematic conference on the topic.
We are pleased to invite you to this conference that will explore the security implications of climate change and the Arctic. Our objective is to provide food for thought and reflections on these topics, both to prepare for the study trip and to enhance the knowledge of all participants about the related mechanisms and challenges involved.
By featuring introductory keynotes of expert speakers followed by facilitating panel discussions, with multidisciplinary panel members, we aim to provide a comprehensive and multifaceted view of the topic. We are confident that their insights will be informative and illuminating for all attendees.
The language of the conference is English.


9:30 – 10:00 Registration
10:00 – 10:10 Introduction by Kurt Bogaert, Director of the Advanced Staff Course, Defence College
10:10 – 10:20 Video message from Ms Zakia Khattabi, Minister of Climate, the Environment, Sustainable Development and Green Deal
Panel 1: The Impact of climate change on Arctic security
10:20 – 10:35 Keynote speech by Marie-Anne Coninsx, Senior Associate Fellow at EGMONT
10:35 – 12:00 Expert panel and Q&A
– Mr. François Massonnet, Professor at Université catholique de Louvain (Picturing the Arctic of tomorrow: what the science says)
– Ms Katarina Kertysova, Policy Fellow at the European Leadership Network (maritime security) tbc
– Ms Alexandra Middleton, Assistant Professor at the University of Oulu  (sustainable economic development and maritime transportation)
– Ms Ionela Maria Ciolan, ReThink.CEE Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States (the role of NATO)
Lunch break
12:00 – 13:00 Standing lunch
Panel 2: Arctic Governance
13:00 – 13:15 Keynote speech by Mr. Nicolas Gosset, Researcher at the Royal Higher Institute for Defence
13:15 – 14:45 Expert panel and Q&A
– Mr. Morten Høglund, Senior Arctic Official of the Kingdom of Norway tbc (Arctic governance bodies) tbc
– Ms Clara Ganslandt, Special Envoy for Arctic Matters, European External Action Service (EU perspective)
– Mr. Philippe Huybrechts, Professor at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (the role of science)
– Mr. Romain Chuffart, President and Managing Director at The Arctic Institute (Indigenous Peoples)
Concluding remarks

Participation and Registration

To follow the conference live and online on YouTube : Youtube Live – Arctic Challenges & Climate Change Conference.
For Q&A from online audience, please use email: