Greenland has decided to end all oil exploration off the world’s largest island in what the government calls ‘a natural step.’
Greenland has a history of left-leaning policies, and the Arctic government has made a decision that shows it ‘takes the climate crisis seriously.’
While there has been no oil found in Greenland, the decision to end the exploration of opportunities dismantles hopes of potentially vast reserves. The country is technically part of Denmark, and some saw oil exploits as a way to declare independence.
Denmark currently decides foreign, defence and security policy, and supports Greenland with annual grants that make up two-thirds of the island’s economy.
The climate crisis would cause the ice in Greenland to retreat and offer access to valuable reserves. However, the country doesn’t believe this is the way forward.
As per Associated Press, the government said, ‘The future does not lie in oil. The future belongs to renewable energy, and in that respect, we have much more to gain.’ The government added that it ‘wants to take co-responsibility for combating the global climate crisis.’
The decision has received praise from environmentalists like Greenpeace who have labelled the action as ‘fantastic.’
This is not the only measure the country has taken to stop mining for resources. The government led by the Inuit Ataqatigiit party delivered on a campaign promise to stop plans for uranium mining in southern Greenland.
Furthermore, the country now has only four active hydrocarbon exploration licenses. These licenses are held by two small businesses. Mads Flarup Christensen, Greenpeace Nordic’s general secretary, told Danish magazine Ingenioeren that his ‘understanding is that the licenses that are left have very limited potential.’
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