“This measure was taken for the sake of our nature, for the sake of our fisheries, for the sake of our tourism industry and to focus our activities on sustainable potentials,” the government, called Naalakkersuisut, said in a statement. .
Greenland is believed to have massive amounts of unexplored oil fields. A study cited in the statement estimated that there were billions of barrels of oil along the country’s west coast and significant deposits under the seabed on the east coast.
Greenland has four active exploration licenses, held by two small companies, which the government will still be required to honor as long as the licensees are still exploring, the Associated Press reported.
Kalistat Lund, the country’s minister of agriculture, self-sufficiency, energy and environment, said the government “takes climate change seriously”.
“We can see the consequences in our country every day, and we are ready to contribute to global solutions to tackle climate change,” said Lund. “Naalakkersuisut is trying to attract new investment for the great hydroelectric potential that we cannot exploit ourselves. The decision to stop further oil exploration will help make Greenland the country where sustainable investments are taken seriously.
The government also announced that it had sent a bill for consultation that would ban preliminary investigations, exploration and mining of uranium.
Uranium, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, is a widely used radioactive element that is now primarily used as a fuel for nuclear power. There are several ways to mine uranium, but all of them, according to the EPA, produce radioactive waste.
“The people of Greenland have based their livelihoods on the country’s natural resources for centuries, and the ban on uranium mining is rooted in the deep belief that business activities must take into account nature and the environment. ‘environment,’ Naalakkersuisut said in a statement.