Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 273

273 Arctic Yearbook 2015 objectives, for the terms apparently lack legal connotations. Despite the less blunt approach, however, states still convey the wish to be heard and involved in Arctic governance. Environmental problems that extend beyond borders are arguably best addressed by cooperation (Rio Declaration, 2012: Principle 7). Yet, as Simma (1994: 247) states, it is one thing to recognize community interests such as environmental protection, but quite another to draw meaningful conclusions. Although the international legal order’s cardinal principle of state sovereignty has been questioned for hampering collective action to address serious environmental problems, it systematically prevails in international instruments and practice (Bothe 2006). Even the duty to cooperate for the benefit of the global environment is still based on the principle of states’ sovereignty. In this legal context, it is not surprising that whenever non-Arctic states suggest a more cooperative approach to Arctic governance, the Arctic states insist upon their sovereignty and jurisdiction. While the duty of cooperation is well-established in international environmental law, it provides little operational guidance. States are left on their own to choose the appropriate modi operandi and to determine their cooperating partners. Consensus emerges on a case-by-case basis among interested states. Regarding the Arctic, the political wrangle over the best governance model and legitimate, legally relevant participants is in full swing (Young 2011). The related question of the best legal approach has given rise to the idea of basing Arctic governance on a comprehensive treaty (see discussion by inter alia Jabour 2015; Charron 2015; Young 2011, Duyck 2011; Huebert 2009; Koivurova 2008). While the Antarctic model, as favoured initially by the European Parliament (2008: para. 15), is unacceptable to the Arctic states, the option of a comprehe