Implications of warming Arctic are creating a national security imperative for the U.S to ratify UNCLOS
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Imperative impetus for this change in the US ocean policy comes from the ongoing climate change in the Arctic region and its potential implications for the US. Indeed, receding ice in the Arctic provides new opportunities to the US to secure its energy security and to gain economically by extracting hitherto inaccessible offshore Arctic resources and utilizing navigable Northwest Arctic Passage for commercial shipping. However, its legal status as a non-Party to the LOS Convention has kept the US ―hobbled on the Arctic‘s geopolitical sidelines‖ and acts as a stumbling block in its active participation in important international policymaking bodies- CLCS and ISBA. The US has no say in the CLCS commission with the authority to validate its national claims for extended continental shelf, which may adverserly affect the US Arctic interests. Further, non-participation in the ISBA authority may also marginalise the US interests in the deep seabed mining in the Area, beyond national jurisdiction. All these factors have point out the need for a change in the US ocean policy in recent time. These imperatives emphasize on the need to accede to the LOS Convention to advance US economic and strategic interests in the contemporary world.
By remaining outside of UNCLOS, the U.S. is ceding its leadership role in the region in a number of ways. First, and most importantly for the U.S. strategic and economic interests, by remaining outside of the treaty the U.S. is not able to submit its claims for the extended continental shelf in the Arctic to the CLCS, preventing U.S. industries from claiming mineral rights. Secondly, existing Arctic governance regimes are based on and rely on UNCLOS and the U.S. non-party status prevents it from contributing as a full partner, weakening the overall Arctic governance regime. Finally, U.S.