Greenland Suspends Issuance of Oil, Gas Exploration Licences Over Climate Change Issues
© AP Photo / Felipe DanaIn this Aug. 16, 2019 file photo, icebergs float away as the sun rises near Kulusuk, Greenland
© AP Photo / Felipe Dana
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Greenland has decided to stop issuing new licences for oil and gas exploration due to its negative impact on the environment.
"The Greenlandic government believes that the price of oil extraction is too high. This is based upon economic calculations, but considerations of the impact on climate and the environment also play a central role in the decision. Against this background, Naalakkersuisut [the government of Greenland] has decided to cease issuing new licences for oil and gas exploration in Greenland," the statement read.
The country's authorities noted that this step would help preserve nature, as well as protect the fishing and tourism industries.
"The decision to stop new exploration for oil will contribute to placing Greenland as the country where sustainable investments are taken seriously", Kalistat Lund, the agriculture and environment minister, said.
Greenland is rich in oil reserves and minerals, while its history of exploration and extraction activities "goes back many years and has a global reach", the government added. The US Geological Survey has estimated that the Greenland shelf may contain as much as 17.5 billion barrels of oil and 148 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.