Greenland suspends oil exploration, citing climate

The government of Greenland announced July 23 that it will suspend all oil exploration, saying the territory "wants to take co-responsibility for combating the global climate crisis... The future does not lie in oil. The future belongs to renewable energy, and in that respect we have much more to gain."  While no oil has been found yet, the US Geological Survey estimates there could be 17.5 billion undiscovered barrels below the territory's lands and waters. Many had hoped potential reserves could allow Greenland to achieve independence, compensating for the annual subsidy of 3.4 billion kroner ($540 million) the territory receives from Denmark.

Naaja Nathanielsen, Greenland's minister of natural resources, said in a statement that the government "remains committed to developing the country's vast mineral potential, where this does not involve the extraction of uranium." She said the territory's executive office, known as the Naalakkersuisut, is preparing a bill that would ban uranium mining across Greenland, citing "a profound belief that business activities must take nature and the environment into account." (APAxios)