Global economic drivers in the development of different industrial hubs in the European Arctic

Leena Suopajärvi, Vigdis Nygaard, AG Edvardsdóttir, A Iversen, KM Kyllonen, P Lesser, S Moioli, M Nojonen, R Ólafsdóttir, D Bergstrom, JW Bjerke, Ragnheiður Bogadóttir, J Elomina, S Engen, J Karkut, T Koivurova, T Leppiaho, K Lynge-Pedersen, M Paulsen Strugstad, O RantalaP Rautio, S Siikavuopio, M Skum, S Tuulentie, H Tømmervik

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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Abstract

This project report discusses global drivers affecting the development of key industries in the European Arctic (EA). Aquaculture is important for littoral states in the North, forestry and mining for northern Scandinavia, and tourism throughout the northern regions in the EA, and all are affected by globalization. Globalization is not a homogeneous, uniform phenomenon, but consists of various global megatrends and trends that affect all industries and local communities, even the most remote, in the EA. Global population growth, urbanization, digitalization, which connects the world 24/7, growing environmental concern worldwide, and climate change happening two or three times faster in the EA than elsewhere in the world are all examples of global megatrends and trends that are changing societies and economic activities around the world.

However, these trends are affecting different parts of the world in different ways. “Glocal” is a concept that captures the idea that global megatrends and trends have context-specific local consequences. These trends also have diverse effects on the operation of different industries. Aquaculture is expecting significant growth as the world’s population needs new food production and northern fish stocks are seen as a clean and sustainably produced food source that is welcome on the tables of environmentally friendly consumers. Forestry in the 2020s is defining itself as a bioeconomy pioneer, whose product development allows wood fibres to be used in various products, besides more traditional cellulosic and timber ones. Mining, especially of rare earth minerals, is needed for the green transition in the EU, replacing fossil fuel use with solar panels, wind turbines, and the electrification of transport. Finally, northern tourism destinations are growing in popularity among people from all over the world who long for pristine nature, outdoor experiences, and a stress-free life. In all, intensified economic activities are anticipated in all sectors in the EA.

Key features of globalization are complexity and uncertainty: weak signals, wildcards, and even “black swans” are unpredictable given current knowledge. Even a single phenomenon may have global effects, as illustrated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Climate change effects are already being seen in northern parts of the globe, but probably many more future effects are unforeseen. Actions are required from all actors. Sustainability should no longer be mere political rhetoric, but is a prerequisite for prosperous industrial development and life in the North.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLapland
PublisherArctic Hubs
Number of pages72
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Arctic
  • Industry
  • Society
  • economy
  • geopolitics

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