Climate change and Arctic petroleum activities: challenging regulatory norms and changing legal education

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


It is common knowledge that climate change is being felt the most in the Polar Regions. As a result of the melting of ice in these regions, new opportunities for petroleum development have arisen. The European Artic, and in particular the Barents and Kara Seas, have provided the Norwegian and Russian states with new opportunities for petroleum exploration and production. As a result of these new activities, there are new economic imperatives and concomitantly new environmental challenges. These differing environmental conditions in the Artic challenge contemporary petroleum regulatory legal norms particularly wells, health and safety, and responses to oil spills, which are currently predicated on exiting petroleum regulatory norms. Such norms include drilling standards and oil spill response plans that are generally universal both in their natural and acceptance. However, as petroleum activities extend into the Artic region, new challenges are arising. In particular the physical environment (ambient cold, presence of ice, currents and water temperature) are challenging both how we regulate petroleum activities as well as how the contemporary regulatory norms apply to this environment. Legal education pertaining to petroleum regulation continues to promulgate existing regulatory norms, particularly in the regulation of wells and oil spills. This article challenges these regulatory norms by analysing the physical environment of the Artic region and its implications on petroleum regulation. In doing so, it challenges not only contemporary petroleum regulation but also advocates a need for interdisciplinary knowledge in legal education relating to Artic petroleum to ensure effective, efficient and safe activities.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2021
EventClimate Change, Law and Legal Education - Bond University, Robina, Australia
Duration: 26 Feb 202127 Feb 2021


ConferenceClimate Change, Law and Legal Education
Internet address


  • Arctic
  • legal education


Dive into the research topics of 'Climate change and Arctic petroleum activities: challenging regulatory norms and changing legal education'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this