Copenhagen, 16 July 2021 (dpa/MIA) – Greenland has stopped issuing new licenses for oil and gas exploration because of environmental concerns, according to a ministry statement on Friday.
“The Greenlandic government believes that the price of oil exploration is too high,” the Ministry of Mineral Resources said.
The decision was based on economic calculations alongside consideration of the effect of such exploration on the climate and the environment, the ministry said.
“This step has been taken for the sake of our nature, for the sake of our fisheries, for the sake of our tourism sector, and also to direct our business toward sustainable potentials.”
The ministry’s statement did not gloss over the fact that Greenland has massive undiscovered oil reserves.
However, the left-leaning government’s position is that Greenland is better off focusing on sustainable development, such as renewable energy opportunities, said Natural Resources Minister Naaja H Nathanielsen.
Environment and Energy Minister Kalistat Lund said the government, which took office after parliamentary elections in April with an environment-focussed agenda, takes climate change seriously, according to the statement.
“We can see the consequences in our country every day, and we are ready to contribute to global solutions in the fight against climate change,” Lund said.
“The future is not in oil. The future belongs to renewable energy, and as far as that is concerned, we have much more to gain,” the Greenlandic government was quoted as saying by Danish journal Ingenioren, which first reported the move.
Like the Faroe Islands, Greenland is officially part of the Kingdom of Denmark, but is largely autonomous.