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Green colonialism for the "green" transition in the Arctic


Eva Fjellheim - Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø UiT & Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna IWM, Austria
Ellen Marie Jensen - Austrian Polar Research Institute
Thierry Rodon - Université Laval, Canada


Simon Batterbury - University of Melbourne, Australia & Lancaster University, UK
Gertrude Saxinger - Austrian Polar Research Institute APRI & University of Vienna

On 15.05.2024 at 18:30 the #13 Polar Talk will take place at the Natural History Museum Vienna.

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.

Left: Placer Mining, Yukon, Canada. Right: Zinc’s Wolverine Mine in Yukon, Canada (Gertrude Saxinger).

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, how some communities benefit from mining 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 Talk #13 is the kick-off event for the workshop „Beyond Hot Air – Conversations around critical raw materials supply for the ‚green‘ transition“, 15-17 May 2024  at the University of Vienna and co-hosted by APRI.

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 to the general public.

The talk is in English
Admission free!
When: Wednesday, 15.05.2024, 18:30
Where: Natural History Museum Vienna in room 16 (at the end of the Arctic exhibition)