The government of Greenland has decided to suspend all oil exploration off the coast of the Arctic island. Officials say it is “a natural step” because the government “is taking the climate crisis seriously”.
No oil has yet been found around Greenland, which is a territory of the Kingdom of Denmark. But officials saw it as finding large amounts of oil as a way to help Greenlanders realize their dream of independence from Denmark. Greenland receives around $ 540 million annually from Denmark.
Global warming means that melting ice could reveal possible oil and mineral resources. These resources could greatly change the future of the territory of 57,000 people.
“The future is not in oil. The future belongs to renewable energies, and in this respect we have much more to gain, ”the government of Greenland said in a statement. The government added that it “wants to assume co-responsibility for the fight against global climate crisis. “
The decision was made on June 24, but was not made public until last week.
US Geological Survey estimates there may be 17.5 billion to be discovered barrels of oil and 148 trillion cubic feet of natural gas off Greenland, the world’s largest island. The island’s remote location and severe weather, however, limited exploration.
The current government has also stopped uranium mining projects in southern Greenland.
Greenland still has four active oil and gas exploration licenses. They can be used as long as the two companies that own them are actively exploring them.
The government’s decision to stop oil exploration was hailed by environmental group Greenpeace, which called the decision “fantastic.”
Denmark decides on foreign, defense and security policies for Greenland. Denmark’s annual financial support to Greenland accounts for around two-thirds of the island’s economy.
I am Jonathan Evans.
Jonathan Evans adapted this story for Learning English based on an Associated Press report. Susan Shand was the editor.
Words in this story
global – adj. involving the whole world
barrel – nm a round container usually made of wood with curved sides and flat ends; the amount contained in a full barrel
fantastic – adj. extremely good