The Northern Sea Route (NSR), a maritime highway that connects East Asia and Europe via the Arctic, is quickly becoming the new “Northern Silk Road.” The NSR, which runs 40% shorter than the traditional southern route from Korea, Japan, and China to the West, is providing a much needed alternative for trade vessels that must otherwise contend with pirate-infested waters.
The Russians are taking the lead in developing and protecting this promising new route as they look to capitalize on their booming ports. But other countries such as Japan, Canada, Germany and South Korea are joining in the race to secure a profitable summer route through melting ice. In fact, 90% of petroleum, fishery products and other trade pass through this region each year.
Global climate change has opened many unexpected possibilities with the development of the NSR — one of them being an opportunity to significantly shorten travel times between East Asia and Europe while keeping goods safe from piracy. This shift could have far-reaching implications for global trade networks and benefit Asian economies in particular if navigated successfully.
To get a better understanding of how climate change can affect trade on an international level we recommend watching our documentary ‘Navigating Change: Exploring The Possibilities Of The Northern Sea Route’. Our documentary explores how nations are tackling both economic and environmental challenges posed by melting Arctic ice as well as what lies ahead for those looking to make use of this newly opened possibility for global trade networks