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Greenland forbids the mining of oil and uranium

Greenland belongs to Denmark under international law. This will remain the case for the time being. Former US President Donald Trump wanted to buy the island. The idea was clearly rejected by the Danish government. However, Greenland has extensive autonomy rights. So the inhabitants of the island elect their own parliament. This in turn decides, among other things, on the extraction of raw materials. Up until 2013 there was a ban on uranium mining. This was enforced, among other things, by the strong anti-nuclear movement in Greenland. Then, however, the government changed the legal situation. Financial considerations also played a role. Because so far the Danish government transfers 500 million euros to the autonomous government every year. This corresponds to around a third of the entire household or just under 9,000 euros per inhabitant. This financial dependency has so far prevented any further efforts to achieve independence.

Bild: Ray Swi-hymn from Sijhih-Taipei, Taiwan, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The parliamentary election led to a clear result

Expanding raw material extraction could theoretically help reduce this dependency. But when an Australian mining company actually expressed interest in a uranium mine, the population protested. Ultimately, the parliamentary elections this year also turned into a vote on the planned uranium mining. The result was clear: the new government is led by the Inuit Ataqatigiit socialist party. This led their election campaign with the promise to reintroduce the old mining ban. Now this announcement has been put into practice. With its parliamentary majority, the government has now reinstated the rules that were in force before 2013. However, the exact design was still disputed beforehand. Because on Greenland it is almost impossible to get any raw materials out of the ground without uranium being mined as well. So a limit must be defined so as not to ban all mining projects.

The opposition wants to accept the new regulation

Ultimately, the limit was now drawn at 100 grams per ton. However, this is not entirely undisputed. The opposition Social Democratic Party, Siumut, fears that many gold and copper mines will no longer be able to operate. Nevertheless, a national consensus was ultimately achieved. Because the opposition has ruled out a renewed weakening of the ban – even if the majorities should change again in the next election. For reasons of climate protection, oil is no longer allowed to be produced in Greenland. A corresponding regulation was passed in the summer. At the World Climate Conference in Glasgow, which has just ended, the Greenland government also promised not to issue any new licenses for gas production. Obviously, financial independence from the central government should not be achieved at the expense of climate and environmental protection.

Via: taz

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