Greenland has finally ended its 50-year ambition to become an oil producing territory. In the name of climate change, all exploration licences have been suspended indefinitely.
If you were to list the clearest indicators of humanity’s damage to the planet, the constantly melting ice of Greenland would easily make top three.
Perishing at a rate faster than any time in the past 12,000 years, we’re faced with the very real prospect of losing the entire region within the next millennium.
By the end of the century, the total ice loss could prompt sea level rises between 2cm and 10cm – if we fail to massively reduce our carbon emissions, that is.
Greenland’s rich supply of oil
These worries were previously exacerbated by former US president Donald Trump, who on multiple occasions talked up the possibility of tapping into Greenland’s potential ‘mineral wealth.’ Thankfully, both Greenland and Denmark swiftly dismissed the US proposal in 2019.
Geological surveys have long suggested Greenland’s northeast area conceals the equivalent of over 30bn barrels of oil.
However, due to drastic fluctuations in the value of oil and massive costs of working in vulnerable Arctic waters, firms find it difficult to make any kind of profit. As such, financial offers are rarely made to acquire the territory.
Saying that, there has always been an underlying worry that a fossil fuel giant like Shell, Chevron, or ExxonMobil would eventually swoop in and begin drilling the rapidly fading landscape.
Only last month, this half-century of stress was finally alleviated.