Jul 16, 2021 - World

Greenland suspends oil exploration due to climate change

An airplane flys over Greenland
Photo: Ulrik Pedersen/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Greenland announced Friday that it will suspend all oil exploration, saying the territory "takes the climate crisis seriously."

The big picture: While no oil has been found yet, many had hoped potential vast reserves could "help Greenlanders realize their long-held dream of independence from Denmark by cutting the annual subsidy of 3.4 billion kroner ($540 million) the Danish territory receives," AP notes.

  • The U.S. Geological Survey estimates there could be 17.5 billion undiscovered barrels of oil off the territory.

What they're saying: “As a society, we must dare to stop and ask ourselves why we want to exploit a resource. Is the decision based upon updated insight and the belief that it is the right thing to do? Or are we just continuing business as usual?," Naaja Nathanielsen, Greenland's minister of natural resources, said in a statement.

  • "It is the position of the Greenlandic government that our country is better off focusing on sustainable development, such as the potential for renewable energy.”
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