The Greenlandic government has announced that it has suspended all new oil and gas exploration in and around the island. The U.S. Geological survey estimates more than 17 billion barrels of oil and 148 trillion cubic feet of natural gas off of the coast and within the seabed of the island country, but current exploration has not been fruitful, and exploration is generally difficult due to harsh weather and remote location. This decision aligns with the election promises of the Inuit Ataqatigiit Party, in power since April of this year.
In a statement, the Greenlandic government notes that the “price of oil extraction is too high… based upon economic calculations, but considerations of the impact on climate and the environment also play a central role in the decision.” The government will focus on sustainable potentials, particularly by working to attract investments in hydropower. Greenland does remain committed to developing the mineral resources of the country, barring uranium extraction. The statement and comments by government members emphasize sustainable management of natural resources and a desire to counter climate change.
The suspension came into effect on June 24th, but was not announced publicly until July 15th.
(Featured image for this post is an orthogonal projection of Greenland)