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Polar Talk #13

Polar Talk #13

May 15, 2024

Green colonialism for the "green" transition in the Arctic


  • Eva Fjellheim, Arctic University of Norway UiT
  • Ellen Marie Jensen, Austrian Polar Research Institute APRI
  • Thierry Rodon, UniversitéLaval, Canada
  • Gertrude Saxinger, Austrian Polar Research Institute APRI & University of Vienna


  • Simon Batterbury, University of Melbourne, Australia & Lancaster University, UK

Photo credit: ©Gertrude Saxinger

The implementation of the energy transition, the European Green Deal policy and the efforts of society in Europe to make the economy and people's lifestyles "greener" require renewable energies. For electronic vehicles, wind turbines or digital devices etc., more and more critical raw materials such as lithium, cobalt, copper, rare earths etc. are needed. Many of these deposits and large-scale wind farms are located in the Arctic and sub-Arctic, which is also home to Indigenous peoples.

Our speakers are Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers with deep knowledge of how Indigenous Peoples in Canada and Sápmi deal with corporate and political pressure and the legal conditions for industry and state intrusion into their lands. Polar Talk #13 will illustrate the power of Indigenous groups and their claims to self-determination, as well as the double standards of a society that wants to "go green" at the expense of violating Indigenous rights and jeopardising peoples' cultural existence.

Polar Talks is a series of talks organized by the Austrian Polar Research Institute (APRI) in which polar researchers from the natural and social sciences report on their research in the polar regions in a generally understandable form.

The talk is in English
Admission free!

Naturhistorische Museum Wien
Burgring 7
1010 Wien,

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