Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 195

195 Arctic Yearbook 2014 ‘invest’ physical capital in human development that captures a larger part of the profits of exploitation for domestic use. Policy and academic research into these options has expanded as demand for fossil fuels has grown. Little economic attention is being paid to the environmental impact of high levels of GHG emissions from contemporary extraction strategies, beyond suggesting that carbon taxes would help everyone care more about GHG levels. However, there is growing awareness that careful management of resource industries offer governments a chance to increase the rate of formation of human skills and knowledge, invest physical capital in social infrastructure such as care resources and in conservation, anti-pollution, and renewable energy infrastructure, and accumulate sovereign wealth funds that can be used to reduce national debt, stabilize economic swings, or develop national capital in new forms. Norway is frequently held up as a ‘paragon of plenty’ because it has largely escaped the paradox of plenty, and has also invested state oil revenues in a sovereign wealth fund that is set aside for pension stability. Norway also uses its jurisdiction over its own oil reserves to require local supply, operating base, and labour content in development contracts, and its development agent, Statoil, is not permitted to securitize new oil finds, but is required to own and develop them. Although the Norwegian government owns its own extraction company (now shared with private investors via public stock exchange listings), countries that exhibit anti-state ownership biases like the US have never had any difficulty welcoming Statoil into their oil fields as a developer. Each of these resource revenue management models can still leave women in northern regions, indigenous women, and women throughout each circumpolar state increasingly under-developed and even impoverished. Gender-equal taxation and distribution of state resource revenues is as important as indigenous self-governance and gender-equal employment, access to resources, and state supports. Even the countries at the very top of the human development and gender equality rankings have not solved these problems fully. Norway has done the best job of maintaining a significant degree of state ownership of resource capital in all forms, but much less than Sweden in securing gender equality. In contrast, Sweden has combined diversified economic development with the highest levels of gender equality overall, but one of the highest rates of women in part-time work and low levels of wage equality (Pettit & Hook 2009: 5-8). At the same time, Sami women in Sweden have high levels of educational attainment but constrained control over traditional resources and much less income equality. Thorough examination of the full array of fiscal gender issues is thus called for as an aspect of solving the paradox of plenty now facing all circumpolar states. Conclusion As circumpolar states empower the Arctic Council and other regional governance bodies to take on increased leadership roles, it is urgent that they take three crucial steps toward fulfilling their responsibilities: Gender Challenges