Despite a retreating ice cover that has thrown up the possibility of unearthing vast reserves of mineral resources and oil, Greenland has taken the right step and announced a halt to all exploration. The government announced this week that it has taken the global climate emergency seriously and it was not willing to pay the environmental price for the exploration.
Climate change and global warming are central to the legislative program of the socialist-led government in Greenland. The tough decision to cut off all potential investments has impeded efforts to achieve economic freedom from neighboring Denmark. But the brave decision is a big victory for environmental groups.
Led by Inuit Ataqatigiit, the government took the big step in the last week of June, though it was announced only on Thursday. It declared the move as a natural and logical step for this semi-autonomous territory. Though there have been no finds so far, experts have estimated that around 17.5B barrels of oil and also around 148T cubic feet of gas lie hidden off the coast of Greenland.
Though successful exploration could transform the economy of the island nation and bring economic freedom from Denmark, it would also lead to an environmental disaster in an extremely eco-fragile zone.
Greenland Government Categorically Says That The Future Is In Renewable Energy And Not Oil
The Greenland government is firm in its decision and has said that they believe that the future lies in renewable energy. They are certain that the country can gain much more that way. It reiterated its commitment to combating the global environmental crisis.
Greenpeace praised the fantastic news and other environmental groups were equally effusive in their praise.
Danish support for the Greenland economy comes to around $600M a year. But the choice to abandon any exploration is sensible given the alarming signs of environmental warming. Other European countries including France, Ireland, Spain, and even Denmark have abandoned plans for oil exploration.
But the Greenland government has expressed its unwillingness to pay the high environmental cost of agreeing to exploration in its territory. They said that they were swayed by considerations other than economics as the impact on the environment was also central to their decision.