The Effectiveness of the Regulatory Regime for Black Carbon Mitigation in the Arctic

  • Daria Shapovalova University of Aberdeen, School of Law, Aberdeen, UK


In addition to being a hazardous air pollutant, Black Carbon is the second-largest contributor to Arctic warming. Its mitigation is being addressed at the international regulatory level by the Arctic Council and the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP). Whilst the Convention and its protocols are binding documents, the Black Carbon regulation under their framework appears to have ‘soft law’ characteristics. At the same time, the voluntary Black Carbon and Methane Framework, adopted by the Arctic Council, demonstrates positive compliance and follow-up dynamics compared to earlier norm-creating attempts. This paper argues that the nature of the norm (binding or non-binding) is not the decisive factor regarding effective implementation in the Arctic region. Current efforts to mitigate Black Carbon by means of a non-binding Arctic Council Black Carbon and Methane Framework represent an improvement in the Council’s normative function and may have more effect on the behaviour of Arctic States than relevant provisions under the Gothenburg Protocol to the CLRTAP. To support this argument, the first section presents an overview of the Arctic Council as an actor in Arctic policy-making. It then provides an assessment of current efforts to combat Black Carbon carried out by the Arctic Council and the CLRTAP.

(Published: November 2016)

Citation: D. Shapovalova. ‘‘The Effectiveness of the Regulatory Regime for Black Carbon Mitigation in the Arctic.’’ Arctic Review on Law and Politics, Vol. 7, No. 2, 2016, pp. 136–151.

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Author Biography

Daria Shapovalova, University of Aberdeen, School of Law, Aberdeen, UK

Daria Shapovalova is a 3d year PhD student at the School of Law, University of Aberdeen. Her research focuses on the effectiveness of international environmental legal framework in light of hydrocarbons development in the Arctic. More specifically her interests lie in researching legislation regulating marine and air pollution in the Arctic States, issues of black carbon and oil spill preparedness and response. Daria got her Bachelor of Laws degree with honours at the National Law Academy of Ukraine. She focused on Public International Law and Energy Law and Policy during her LLM studies at the University of Groningen. Daria has gained professional experience in energy industry while doing her internship at DNV KEMA in 2013. She has presented her work at several international conferences including the International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences VIII and the Arctic Frontiers 2016. 

How to Cite
Shapovalova, D. (2016). The Effectiveness of the Regulatory Regime for Black Carbon Mitigation in the Arctic. Arctic Review, 7(2).
Original Articles
Black Carbon, Arctic Council, CLRTAP, Air Pollution, Climate Change