The Beaufort Sea Maritime Boundary Dispute: High Stakes for Canadian Arctic Sovereignty and Resource Extraction in a Changing Climate
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This paper analyzes the Beaufort Sea maritime boundary dispute and the risk it poses to Canadian Arctic sovereignty and resource extraction in the North as the effects of climate change become more apparent. The confluence of environmental change, national level policies, international governance regimes, and how they come together to govern the Beaufort Sea is, of utmost concern to Canada and relations with Arctic partners, including, most notably, the United States of America (US). Therefore, this paper integrates thinking from each of these fields to explore the history, status, role and future relevance of the Beaufort Sea maritime boundary dispute in Arctic governance debates to analyze the linkages between Arctic sovereignty and energy development. More fundamentally, this paper seeks to understand why the dispute has not been resolved, what a resolution may look like, and who stands to benefit, through an analysis of the role of international law as it relates to the seas to determine what this says about the current stakes and interests involved there.