Given the high pace of acceleration with which climate change is occurring, the unprecedented amount of floods and fires and the extremely high temperatures of the last years, new habitable and exploitable areas are bound to increase as a result of the extremely rapid ice melting in the Arctic. These areas will allow the exploration of natural resources and the use of new navigation routes in shipping. The Arctic region is rich in natural resources, but, at the same time, faces challenges due to its sparse population, limited logistical networks, and fragile environmental conditions; hence, any future sustainable growth and development in it should address the need to build sustainable infrastructure and explore and expropriate the natural resources sustainably, in an effort to achieve transformation towards an inclusive green economy that respects the indigenous peoples and their communities and lifestyle. This article not only synthesizes the existing literature on the topic of the impact of climate change on the Arctic, but also discusses and analyses the ways in which any exploration and exploitation of natural resources and any increased shipping activity in the Arctic should take place, in the light of the impact of climate change. By bringing together different literatures – on the Arctic exploration, legal regulation and Arctic shipping – not usually considered together, it analyses and discusses the multiple social and environmental effects of climate change in the region and its indigenous populations, and, finally, proposes policy options and legislative and other measures so as to best meet the various challenges imposed.