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Legal Studies

The Arctic and global warming: adaptation to climate change and environmental protection

Kudelkin Nikolai

PhD in Law

Leading Scientific Associate, Department of Environmental, Land and Agrarian Law, Institute of State and Law of the Russian Academy of Sciences

119019, Russia, Moscow, Znamenka str., 10

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Abstract: The subject of this research is the legal norms that regulate social relations arising in the context of implementation of measures aimed at global warming prevention and adaption to climate change. The goal of this work lies in formulization of theoretical and practical conclusions and recommendations for the improvement of legal regulation in this sphere based on the analysis of legislation, policy documents of different countries, as well as information and data pertinent to climate change. Methodological framework is comprised of the logical techniques, means of cognition, general scientific and special methods, such as analysis, synthesis, analogy, deduction, induction, comparative-legal, formal-legal,  etc. The relevance of this topic is substantiated by the continuous global warming worldwide, particularly the temperatures in the northern polar region. At the same time, the experts note that the efforts made by the international community to reduce greenhouse gas emissions neither decelerate the global warming, nor reduce the concentration of such gases. This means that that the efforts should be aimed at adaptation to the new climatic realities. The article examines the questions related to climate protection, as well as adaptation to climate change applicable to the Arctic. A number of theoretical and practical conclusions and recommendations are made. For protection of the Arctic environment in the conditions of changing climate, it is necessary to stipulate in the Russian legislation such legal instrument as the strategic environmental assessment, at least for projects implemented in the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation.


global warming, climate change, adaptation, Arctic, environmental protection, indigenous peoples, biological diversity, arctic policy, permafrost, marine environment

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Introduction. For many years, climate protection has remained one of the most popular topics for discussion, in addition, various public and private interests are clashing in this area [1, p. 5]. The problem of climate change affects a wide range of people and is extremely difficult from the point of view of developing legal regulation measures, but at the same time, the fight against global warming and the development of measures aimed at adapting to it is a force capable of uniting the efforts of Arctic and non-Arctic countries for the benefit of the Arctic environment and the entire planet as a whole.

Currently, warming continues all over the world, with the fastest growth rates demonstrated by the temperature of the Northern Polar region. According to the Federal State Budgetary Institution "AANIA", over the past 30 years (1990-2019), the average annual temperature growth here was 0.81 C / 10 years, i.e. 2.43 C for 30 years. The warming is evidenced by such facts as a rapid decrease in the Arctic ice cover, an increase in the thickness of the seasonally thawed permafrost layer, a decrease in the duration of the snow cover and other indicators [2, p. 6]. Accelerated Arctic warming has led to a rapid reduction in the area of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, especially in the seas along the route of the Northern Sea Route (NSR) [2, p. 7]. In the last 30-year period, the warming in the Arctic seas ranged from 2.31C (the northern part of the Greenland and Norwegian Seas) to 4.74 C (the Kara Sea) [2, p. 38]. In the waters of the Arctic Ocean, through which the NSR passes, the summer period of 2020 became the warmest among the summer seasons in the entire history of observations, the level of ice cover of these seas was also record low [3, p. 43], the melting of Arctic sea ice is certainly a negative factor from the point of view of preserving the natural environment, which at the same time it has a positive economic connotation due to the improvement of conditions for navigation. However, considering this phenomenon, it is also necessary to take into account that, in accordance with Article 234 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982), "Coastal States have the right to adopt and enforce non-discriminatory laws and regulations for the prevention, reduction and control of marine pollution from ships in ice-covered areas within the exclusive economic zone where particularly harsh climatic conditions and the presence of ice covering such areas for most of the year create obstacles or increased danger to navigation, and marine pollution could cause severe damage to the ecological balance or irreversibly disrupt it ...". Accordingly, if a situation arises when the water area of the NSR will be free of ice throughout the year Of course, the claims of other countries to use this transport route may increase, which may eventually lead to various adverse consequences, including for the environment.

Climate change can have a serious impact on various spheres of activity, ranging from environmental protection and environmental management to public health, so, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), climate change is the greatest danger to the world's population (See: URL: https://tass.ru/obschestvo/12632253 (date of application: 12.10.2021)).

It should be emphasized that, according to experts, the efforts made by the world community to reduce greenhouse gas emissions do not lead either to a slowdown in warming or to a decrease in the growth rate of the concentration of these gases. Thus, according to the monitoring of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere conducted at Roshydromet, the level of CO2 concentration in northern latitudes at Russian background stations is constantly growing (on average 2.26 million-1/year) and in 2019 reached another maximum. The concentration of methane also continues to increase [2, p. 6], this trend is also confirmed by data for 2020 [3, p. 102-103]. Based on the above fact, it can be concluded that efforts in this area should be directed not only to combat the ongoing global warming, but primarily to adapt to new climatic realities. It is the legal component that should play one of the primary roles in the process of adaptation to climate change, since only with the help of modern legislation that meets the challenges of the present and the foreseeable future, it is possible to properly regulate various types of activities, the implementation of which is associated with the use of the environment or impact on it. Only legal regulation that takes into account various natural factors, including climatic ones, is able to ensure the environmental safety of a particular activity. It is not surprising that the ongoing changes in the natural environment of the Arctic cause concern among the world community and especially among the Arctic countries. Such processes are of great importance for the Russian Federation, which has huge northern territories and water areas.

Legal bases of climate protection, adaptation to its change and Arctic policy. The fundamental document defining Russia's policy in this area is the Climate Doctrine of the Russian Federation, approved by the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation No. 861-rp dated December 17, 2009 (NW RF. 2009. No. 51. St. 6305). The Doctrine considers climate change as an important international problem of our time, which covers various aspects of the country's development, including environmental ones.

The thesis proclaimed in the Document under consideration about the importance of timely adaptation to climate change is significant for the protection of the Arctic nature, while it is noted that such changes are inevitable (paragraph 4).

The Climate Doctrine of the Russian Federation notes that the subject of special attention when developing and implementing early measures to prevent and neutralize the adverse effects of climate change or to reduce them to the lowest possible level should be the fact that different objects (natural, anthropogenic, etc.) react differently to climate change and have varying degrees of vulnerability to them (item 15). This provision suggests the need for a differentiated approach to this problem, which is especially important for planning activities for adaptation to climate change in the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation and the Arctic as a whole.

In the Fundamentals of the State Policy of the Russian Federation in the Arctic for the period up to 2035, approved by Decree of the President of the Russian Federation No. 164 of March 5, 2020 (NW RF. 2020. No. 10. St. 1317), some attention is paid to issues related to climate change, which affects all areas of activity in the Arctic to one degree or another starting from environmental protection and ending with the development of infrastructure in the region. According to the Document under consideration, the main tasks in the field of science and technology development in the interests of Arctic exploration, along with others, include the development and implementation of modern methods and technologies for forecasting hazardous natural and man-made phenomena in a changing climate, as well as the development and application of effective engineering solutions to prevent damage to infrastructure elements that they can be caused by natural phenomena arising from global warming (paragraphs "b", "d" of paragraph 14). The solution of these tasks is necessary not only for the development of Arctic spaces and resources, but also for environmental protection, since damage or destruction of various infrastructure facilities can lead to dangerous consequences for nature up to an ecological catastrophe. Therefore, forecasting of dangerous phenomena, along with scientific developments in the field of Arctic infrastructure development, is an integral part of the prevention of environmental harm in the Arctic, the risk of causing which increases due to the ongoing climate change, which has a negative impact on the ecosystems of the region.

The Document under consideration provides for the development on a scientific basis of a network of specially protected natural territories and water areas aimed at preserving ecological systems and their adaptation to climate change (subclause "a" of clause 15). This measure is mainly intended to reduce the level of anthropogenic impact on valuable ecological systems. This is especially true at the present time, when the level of exploitation of various Arctic resources is increasing. It can be said that territorial environmental protection is one of the most effective measures aimed at preserving biodiversity. And the more Arctic territories and water areas will be assigned the status of specially protected areas before their active development begins, the better. In the context of the ongoing climate change, the role of protected natural areas is rapidly disappearing, because in the new realities, the nature of the North needs not only protection from the negative impact of economic activity, but also from new threats arising from the impact of natural processes on various anthropogenic objects. Such threats, in turn, can lead to large-scale accidents with serious consequences for the environment. Research in the field of climate change, including the processes taking place in the Arctic, requires close international cooperation, this activity is provided for in paragraph "a" of paragraph 16 of the Framework under consideration. Also, cooperation between the Arctic countries is necessary to develop measures to adapt to changes in the environment due to global warming.

Issues related to climate change are also addressed in the Strategy for the Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation and Ensuring National Security for the period up to 2035, approved by Decree of the President of the Russian Federation No. 645 of October 26, 2020 (SZ RF. 2020. No. 44. p. 6970). Thus, paragraph "b" of paragraph 4 of the Strategy under consideration refers climate change to one of the features of the Arctic zone, which determine approaches to both socio-economic development and ensuring national security in the region, while emphasizing that such changes contribute to both the emergence of new risks to the environment and economic activity, and opening up new economic opportunities in the Arctic. It should be added here that from the point of view of environmental protection, climate change has a double negative effect, on the one hand, having a direct impact on the northern nature, on the other contributing to the intensification of anthropogenic activities in the region, due to the fact that climatic conditions become more favorable for the implementation of some of its types, for example, shipping and tourism. This thesis is partly confirmed in the text of the Strategy under consideration in sub-paragraph "d" of paragraph 5 it is said that the importance of the Northern Sea Route will increase as a result of climate change, in sub-paragraph "d" of paragraph 5 it is emphasized that anthropogenic impacts in combination with climate change, as well as the effect of these factors Individually, it can cause events in the Arctic zone that have adverse environmental consequences, which can lead to risks for the economic system, the environment and the security of Russia and the world as a whole. Thus, the Strategy, on the one hand, emphasizes the fragility of the Arctic ecosystems, and on the other the global importance of the region. In order to fulfill the main tasks in the field of infrastructure development of the Arctic zone, it is proposed as one of the measures to develop and implement engineering and technical solutions that ensure the sustainable functioning of infrastructure in the face of climate change (subclause "l" of clause 13). This provision has both environmental and social significance, since it is aimed at ensuring the normal functioning of various types of infrastructures, without which it is impossible to safely carry out economic activities, and at the same time such an approach should minimize the likelihood of man-made disasters of various kinds, which, as a rule, lead to adverse environmental consequences. Subparagraph "d" of paragraph 14 of the Document under consideration involves the development of a comprehensive plan for international scientific research, including global climate change. Subparagraph "b" of paragraph 15 of the Strategy under consideration, in relation to the implementation of tasks aimed at protecting the environment and ensuring environmental safety, speaks of the need to adapt the economy and infrastructure of the Arctic zone to climate change, paragraph "o" of paragraph 15 of the Strategy provides for the creation of a system for promptly informing public authorities and the population about the occurrence or increase in the risks of harmful exposure to the most dangerous pollutants and microorganisms in connection with emergency situations caused by climate change. This provision of the Strategy is aimed at providing citizens and authorities with environmental information, the importance of which is extremely high, especially for people living in severe natural and climatic conditions of the Arctic, the availability of reliable and timely environmental information, contributes to ensuring the right of everyone to a favorable environment and reliable information about its condition, established by Article 42 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation.

Special attention should be paid to the provision of clause 7 of Article 28.1 of Federal Law No. 7-FZ of January 10, 2002 "On Environmental Protection" (Federal Law of the Russian Federation. 2002. No. 2. p. 133), which states that when developing information and technical reference books on the best available technologies, the climatic features of the Russian Federation should also be taken into account. This provision of the Law is currently of particular importance for the protection of the Arctic environment, since the implementation of economic activities in the region, especially such types as the extraction of mineral resources, is associated with significant risks to nature, which may increase due to changes caused by global warming.

Speaking about climate protection, it is necessary to name a new Federal Law for Russia dated July 2, 2021 No. 296-FZ "On Limiting Greenhouse Gas Emissions" (Federal Law of the Russian Federation. 2021. No. 27 (Part I). p. 5124), which will be effective from December 30 , 2021 . In accordance with Article 1, the said Law defines the basis for the legal regulation of relations arising from the implementation of any activity accompanied by greenhouse gas emissions and carried out on the territory of the Russian Federation, the continental shelf, the exclusive economic zone of the Russian Federation, as well as in the Russian sector of the Caspian Sea. In accordance with Article 2 of the Law under consideration, its purpose is to create conditions for sustainable and balanced development of the economy of the Russian Federation while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, this Law should promote the balance of private and public interests, although the scope of regulation of the Law is quite narrow and concerns only greenhouse gas emissions, its environmental potential should be noted. The law defines the principles of limiting greenhouse gas emissions, establishes a list of measures to limit greenhouse gas emissions, the rights and obligations of legal entities and individual entrepreneurs, etc. Since the carbon footprint (quantification of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere) is present at every stage of the life cycle of a product or service, activities [4, p. 52] aimed at controlling and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, in addition to its main purpose, contributes to environmental protection from the negative impact of anthropogenic activities. Such an effect is possible, for example, with a decrease in the use of fossil fuels, the transition to renewable energy sources. All this suggests that activities to combat climate change are extremely favorable for the nature of the Arctic, since it should contribute not only to mitigating the processes arising from climate change, but also to reducing the negative impact on the nature of the region from various types of anthropogenic activities.

To understand the approach to the problem of global warming in the Arctic and some non-Arctic countries, it is advisable to consider the documents on Arctic policy in force in them.So, in the White Paper of China (See: URL: http://english.www.gov.cn/archive/white_paper/2018/01/26/content_281476026660336.htm (accessed 07.11.2021)), devoted to Arctic policy, in Sec.1 it is said that the natural environment of the Arctic is changing rapidly. Melting of ice in the Arctic causes changes in the natural environment, which can lead to accelerated global warming, sea level rise, increased extreme weather events, harm biodiversity, as well as cause other global problems. Also, the melting of ice opens up new opportunities for the commercial use of sea routes and the development of resources. These changes may pose a potential threat to the Arctic environment. In p . (3) Section 3 notes that as a result of global warming, the Arctic sea routes may become important transport arteries for international trade. In this regard, China believes that freedom of navigation should be ensured in the Arctic, and disputes over Arctic sea routes should be properly settled in accordance with international law [5, 6].

Thus, China recognizes the presence of changes in the Arctic associated with global warming and their negative effect on the environment. China's position on shipping in the northern waters also shows an increasing interest in them, including among non-Arctic countries. In many ways, this activity is due precisely to climate change and the ice situation improving in connection with it.

Japan's Arctic policy is also noteworthy, which also addresses climate change issues (See: URL: https://www 8.cao.go.jp/ocean/english/arctic/pdf/japans_ap_e.pdf (accessed: 07.102021)). For example, in the section devoted to global environmental problems, it is noted that the rapid changes taking place in the natural environment of the Arctic should be considered as global problems, since there is a high probability that changes in the Arctic will have an impact on the whole world, including the process of global warming. There are concerns that changes in the natural environment of the Arctic may increase the number of extreme weather events in Japan and other countries located in the middle and high latitudes. At the same time, it is emphasized that the expansion of economic activity in the region can contribute to environmental pollution, for example, by leakage or discharge of pollutants from ships. A statement is made that Japan should use its experience and knowledge in order to make a significant contribution to solving global environmental problems caused by changes taking place in the Arctic.

The Document emphasizes the role of international cooperation in the field of scientific research and exchange of information on changes occurring in the Arctic environment, including climate change.

In Norway's Arctic Policy (See: URL: https://www.regjeringen.no/en/dokumenter/arctic_policy/id2830120/#tocNode_30 (date of application: 10.10.2021)) It is emphasized (section 4.1) that climate change creates new challenges in the Arctic. The document also notes the fact that the processes associated with global warming in the Arctic contribute to serious and rapid changes in ecosystems, as well as lead to the loss of habitat for Arctic species. The Document also speaks about the exceptional importance of adaptation to climate change and mitigation of its consequences and the urgent need for the entire world to achieve the temperature target set by the Paris Agreement in order to preserve the Arctic in its current form. It should be noted that the world leaders in CO2 emissions are China 28%, the USA 15%, India 7%, Russia 5% (See: URL:https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/each-countrys-share-co2-emissions (date of application: 10.10.2021)). Thus, this list includes two Arctic countries (the USA and the Russian Federation) and two non-Arctic powers (China and India). Therefore, it is possible to try to slow down the pace of global warming and its impact on the Arctic only through the joint efforts of the world community, which is what Norway calls for.

The document points out that Norway has already implemented a number of measures aimed at reducing its own black carbon emissions, which are currently lower than in large Arctic states, both in total and per capita, and is on track to reduce its black carbon emissions by more than 25 % by 2025

Norway's Arctic Policy declares that global warming has a particularly strong impact on the marine environment, the water temperature is rising, the ice is retreating, Arctic species such as the polar bear(Ursus maritimus) forced to move North. In addition, the northern seas are particularly vulnerable to acidification because water can absorb more CO2 at low temperatures. On this issue, the opinion of G.G. Shinkaretskaya should be cited, according to which the problem associated with ocean acidification is legally unclear and is "in a gray legal zone", and the question remains open regarding the possibility of legal regulation of this problem by a separate document [7, p. 122]. This situation shows how complex the problems related to environmental protection are from the point of view of legal protection.

Acidification of the northern seas is a threat to fishing in the Arctic and may have consequences for the economy and society both in the region and affect global fish and seafood supplies (clause 4.2). The Document in question indicates that anthropogenic activities combined with climate change are putting increasing pressure on the natural environment of Northern Norway. Some Arctic species are endangered. This primarily applies to ice-dependent species such as the polar bear(Ursus maritimus) and ringed seal (Pusa hispida). The threat associated with alien species is also increasing [8], as their distribution is expected to increase as the climate warms and human activity increases in the region (clause 4.3).

In the Fundamentals of Canada's Arctic and Northern Policy (See: URL: https://www.rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca/eng/1560523306861/1560523330587 (accessed: 02.11.2021)) Much attention is paid to climate change and its impact on the Arctic. The priorities of Canada's Arctic policy include, inter alia, countering the effects of climate change and maintaining the proper state of the ecosystems of the Arctic and the North. The document in question states that warming, proceeding at a rapid pace in the north of Canada, has an impact on various objects and spheres from soil and biodiversity to culture and traditions.

The Document emphasizes that at present the Arctic region has become an important intersection point where issues of climate change, international trade and global security meet. Due to warming, shipping lanes are opening up and access to the natural resources of the North is being simplified. In turn, increased tourist and commercial interests contribute to the strengthening of security problems, including man-made disasters and search and rescue operations.

The Fundamentals of Canada's Arctic Policy speak of the high importance of adaptation to climate change. One of the objectives is to promote a deeper understanding of the effects of climate change and adaptation options based on monitoring and research, including including approaches focused on indigenous peoples. The Document also says that the Arctic and the North are experiencing a period of rapid changes, which are the result of both global warming and changing geopolitical trends. Thus, international legal regulation should be developed to address the new challenges and opportunities facing the region.

Issues of adaptation to climate change. Speaking about the problems of adaptation to climate change, it is necessary to pay attention to the fact that, according to experts, the effectiveness of measures to respond to rapid climate change in the Arctic largely depends on the accuracy of data concerning the properties of ecosystems and processes occurring in them. However, as foreign scientists note, at present such data are characterized by both rarity and uneven distribution of field measurements. For example, about 30% of the available data were obtained from locations located within a radius of 50 km from two research facilities: Toolik Lake (USA) and Abisko (Sweden). There is a shortage of data on areas located in the high-latitude Arctic of the Canadian Archipelago and the Arctic coast of Russia. Thus, the incompleteness of the available data may affect the accuracy of forecasting and the development of measures to mitigate the effects of climate change [9]. Therefore, it is necessary to develop and stimulate research on this issue in the Russian Arctic, and the data obtained as a result of research should also be available to the world scientific community.

Climate change has contributed to the emergence of more favorable conditions for access to natural resources in the Arctic, which has led to an intensification of activity in their extraction and use [10, p. 27], including in the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation (hereinafter referred to as the AZFR). This state of affairs naturally caused an increase in the anthropogenic load on the environment of the region. In order to mitigate this negative factor, it is necessary to improve the legislation concerning regulation in the field of environmental protection, it is advisable to develop special standards in force in the Russian Arctic and impose increased requirements on various types of activities.

According to expert estimates, one of the most significant risks to the sustainable functioning of the infrastructure of the Russian Arctic should be considered the acceleration of the degradation of permafrost caused by climate warming. According to incomplete estimates, only in the oil fields of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug, due to the melting of permafrost and soil deformations, an average of 1,900 accidents occur per year, and in the whole of Western Siberia - about 7,400 [11, p. 180]. Monitoring of permafrost, which can be carried out within the framework of monitoring the state of the subsoil, can play an important role in preventing such accidents.

Global warming causes the destruction and retreat of the sea coasts, which are composed of underground ice, which is facilitated by increased wave action and activation of the processes of thermal abrasion, thermal erosion and thermal denudation. Over the past decade and a half, the rate of retreat of icy shores has increased by more than 2 times [12, p. 265].

On the shores composed of permafrost rocks, when pulling out underground stratified ice deposits, thermocircles are formed large cirque-shaped depressions, the depth of which can reach 30-40 m, and the width the first hundreds of meters. On the sea coasts, thermocells contribute to the destruction of the shores. Thermal tanks pose a real danger to economic facilities, roads in the developed areas of the Arctic. Thermal erosion is another process of coastal destruction. As a result of the thermal and mechanical effects of flowing surface waters on frozen rocks, gullies and ravines are formed. The widespread use of this process complicates the economic development of the northern territories. Frost-breaking cracking leads to changes in the microrelief and redistribution of vegetation, which, in turn, determines the appearance of the cryolithozone landscapes. The development of this process is associated with the danger of rupture of underground communications and cables, destruction of road surfaces and airfields. Such a phenomenon as ice is dangerous in road and railway construction [12, pp. 266-269].

The phenomenon first identified in the summer of 2014 in the north of Western Siberia gas discharge funnels - poses an increased danger to the infrastructure of the Arctic plains [12, p. 270]. According to scientists, the formation of craters and numerous small round-shaped lakes throughout the Arctic tundra is most likely due to the decomposition of cryolithozonal methanhydrates. The danger of such a phenomenon also lies in the potential for the appearance of such craters near animal burial grounds and burials of people who died from dangerous infectious diseases in the XVIIIXX centuries, since as a result of an explosion (during the formation of a funnel), bacterial spores can spread over a long distance [13, p. 38].

In this context, we should mention another danger associated with methanhydrates, which are a solid, supramolecular complex of methane with water, stable at low temperatures and elevated pressures. Methane hydrates are the main source of methane entering the atmosphere, the main role in this process is played by methane hydrates of the shelf and continental territories of the Arctic. At the same time, currently the contribution of methane to the global greenhouse effect is from 20 to 40% in relation to the contribution of CO2. Due to the increase in temperature at high latitudes, the methane hydrates are in an unstable state. Experts note that there is a positive feedback between the increase in temperature in the Arctic cryosphere and the decomposition of methane hydrants, i.e. this process is self-accelerating, even a relatively weak impact on it, including anthropogenic technogenic nature, can significantly affect the planetary climate system. And accordingly, activities in the Arctic should be carried out with great caution [13, pp. 34-35, 42-43]. Based on the analysis of the above information, it can be concluded that the problem of climate protection and adaptation to its change in the Arctic region has a bilateral character, on the one hand, the warming in the Arctic is influenced by activities in countries located far from the Arctic Circle, on the other the processes taking place in the Arctic, including as a result of human activity, they can have a global climate effect.

Thus, it is advisable to fix in the legislation the need for comprehensive geocryological, geomorphological, environmental studies in order to obtain a forecast, both about the possibility of developing new infrastructure, building various economic facilities, and about the prospects for the existence and functioning of old infrastructure facilities, the possibility of their damage, destruction and the likely occurrence of adverse environmental consequences. In this context, it should be noted the great potential of satellite images for the study of the northern territories [12].

According to experts, global climate change poses a serious threat to the traditional way of life of the indigenous peoples of the North [14, pp. 419-429; 11, p. 167]. As a result of warming, the implementation of some traditional activities may become difficult or impossible, for example, hunting for certain types of animals, grazing deer, etc. In this regard, the issue of improving the legislation on indigenous small-numbered peoples is acute. It seems appropriate to provide for the implementation of measures to adapt the population leading a traditional way of life both to new natural conditions and (if it is no longer possible to carry out any types of traditional activities) to life in other realities caused by climate change (for example, living in an urban environment, mastering new professions, etc.).

In addition, it is necessary to increase the protected status of the territories of traditional nature use, since they are under pressure not only from climate change, but also from the increased industrial development of the North. It is necessary to conduct research in order to identify areas where traditional nature management is possible and which are least susceptible to changes as a result of global warming, and to limit or prohibit as much as possible the implementation of environmentally hazardous activities in such areas.

The preservation of the peoples of the North, their traditional way of life in today's difficult conditions should be one of the main directions when planning measures to adapt to climate change.

Another threat to both the environment and the population living in the region associated with global warming is pollution with persistent organic pollutants (hereinafter POPS) POPS are organic compounds formed as a result of human activity, which are highly resistant to environmental influences. These include industrial chemicals (e.g. polychlorinated biphenyls), pesticides such as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT). Due to their stability in the environment, pops are able to be transported in the atmosphere over long distances, settling in regions such as the Arctic, where pops accumulate both in nature and in people living in the region, which, of course, is an extremely undesirable and dangerous phenomenon. Over the past few decades, concentrations of many pops in the Arctic air have decreased due to restrictions on their production and use. However, as the climate warms, pops deposited in sinks such as water and ice are expected to revolutionize into the atmosphere. Thus, according to scientists, warming in the Arctic may undermine global efforts to reduce the impact of POPS on the environment and humans [15].

Conclusion. The analysis of the political documents of various powers allows us to conclude that the Arctic and non-Arctic countries, which have their own Arctic policy, recognize the fact of changes occurring in the Northern region related to global warming. The political documents emphasize the danger of global warming and related processes for the environment, not only in the Arctic, but almost the entire planet. It is also important that some political documents explicitly express the opinion that increased anthropogenic activity in the region due to more favorable climatic conditions poses a serious danger to the nature of the Arctic. However, simultaneously with this thesis, it is argued that global warming opens up new opportunities for shipping and other economic activities in the region.

It should be especially emphasized that global warming for the Arctic has not only ecological, economic, social, but also serious political significance. Therefore, the issues of adaptation to this process concern not only aspects of the implementation of various types of economic activities, but also various aspects of international relations. The main points of tension are the implementation of navigation and the exploitation of Arctic resources, since these activities, as a result of changes related to global warming, are becoming more attractive and accessible to a wide range of states and in the near future may cease to be a privilege of the Arctic countries.

It should be emphasized that greenhouse gas emissions are one of the threats to the Arctic environment, the sources of which are located both in the Arctic region and beyond. Thus, the well-being of the Arctic largely depends on the quality of environmental legislation around the world and especially in countries with a high level of production and use of fossil fuels. Also, in order to protect the Arctic environment in a changing climate, it is necessary to provide in Russian legislation the existence of such a legal instrument as a strategic environmental assessment, at least for projects that are planned to be implemented in the Russian Arctic.

It is obvious that the problem of global warming will be relevant for a long time both for the Arctic and for the whole world, respectively, issues of legal regulation in this area, especially those related to adaptation to climate change, need to be given increased attention from both science and practice.

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