Antarctica can give a monopoly

Global
Photo by Torsten Dederichs via Unsplash. Edited by Opulens

CONFLICT. The only uninhabited continent could play a role in the political scene in the coming years. Due to the growing influence and role of environmental activists – Antarctica is becoming increasingly important, writes Filip Đukić. 

In the 1950s, Antarctica was perceived as a sterile, cold continent that was inhospitable for living. With constant reference to climate change and the Coronavirus pandemic, the status of Antarctica has changed.

As the political situation is geopolitical in most cases – in this case, is in full form – it is so predictable that national interests will strengthen. We can notice the strongest national interest in it – the Chinese one. And while other countries have begun to delay and cut funding for Antarctic exploration, the Chinese have decided to embark on building the largest Antarctic – krill-fishing boat – in the world that will be completed by 2023.

The economic potential of Antarctica is also increasingly coming to light. Minerals, commercial fishing, tourism are just some of the reasons that are increasingly attracting countries around the world to take an even stronger position in the race for Antarctica.

Antarctica is known for its extreme preservation, as ironic as it may sound due to increasing climate change. We can say that geopolitics is only partly going in the direction that the Nazis once had; the doctrine of Karl Haushofer, geopolitics for militaristic goals.

Antarctica may still not be a hospitable place to live, but a country that has any domination over it – will have a variety of options. With that control, you have a monopoly over the world in various aspects. 

Today’s geopolitics – as in this case linked to Antarctica – is an opportunity for manipulation. In other words – whoever has primacy over Antarctica will be able to dictate real and imaginary problems as far as global warming is concerned. That is not fictitious, and utopian thinking as climate change creates the emergence of various treaties and agreements between states on the issue of greenhouse gases.

Yes, national interests can go so far that non-national Antarctica can be nationalized. If scientists of specific states are in the field (and state and politics have their fingers in science as well, which is not something new), the same country can dictate pieces of information related to global warming. Yes, WikiLeaks shows that. 

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The result would be a change in agreements such as the Paris Agreement. Although there are seven states; New Zealand, Australia, France, Norway, the United Kingdom, Chile, and Argentina in Antarctica as part of a research team – I expect China to take a step forward and claim the right to the territory.

The Antarctic Treaty and Article IV – which prevent the claim to national sovereignty of any state in the Antarctic continent – are still in force for the time being. China, the biggest polluter on the planet, will surely build even more of its research stations. The Chinese also have the most isolated station called Kunlun and are even more elusive from international control.

Although some experts, such as Professor Brady claims that the Chinese have a militaristic intention towards Antarctica – my opinion is that they are more interested in the research part. With that, they can more easily come up with the idea of national sovereignty in Antarctica

Antarctica may still not be a hospitable place to live, but a country that has any domination over it – will have a variety of options. With that control, you have a monopoly over the world in various aspects. 

 

Filip Đukić

 

Opulens är ett dagligt nätmagasin som vill stärka kulturjournalistikens opinionsbildande roll. Kulturartiklar samsas därför med opinionsmaterial – allt med en samhällsmedveten blick där så väl klimatförändringarna och hoten mot yttrandefriheten som de sociala orättvisorna betraktas som självklara utgångspunkter.

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