Greenland suspends oil exploration because of climate change

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The left-leaning government of Greenland has decided to suspend all oil exploration off the world’s largest island, calling it is “a natural step” because the Arctic government “takes the climate crisis seriously.”

No oil has been found yet around Greenland, but officials there had seen potentially vast reserves as a way to help Greenlanders realize their long-held dream of independence from Denmark by cutting the annual subsidy of 3.4 billion kroner ($540 million) the Danish territory receives.

Global warming means that retreating ice could uncover potential oil and mineral resources which, if successfully tapped, could dramatically change the fortunes of the semiautonomous territory of 57,000 people.

“The future does not lie in oil. The future belongs to renewable energy, and in that respect we have much more to gain,” the Greenland government said in a statement. The government said it “wants to take co-responsibility for combating the global climate crisis.”

The decision was made June 24 but made public Thursday.

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates there could be 17.5 billion undiscovered barrels of oil and 148 trillion cubic feet of natural gas off Greenland, although the island’s remote location and harsh weather have limited exploration.

When the current government, led by the Inuit Ataqatigiit party since an April’s parliamentary election, it immediately began to deliver on election promises and stopped plans for uranium mining in southern Greenland.

Greenland still has four active hydrocarbon exploration licenses, which it is obliged to maintain as long as the licensees are actively exploring. They are held by two small companies.

The government’s decision to stop oil exploration was welcomed by environmental group Greenpeace, which called the decision ”fantastic.”

“And my understanding is that the licenses that are left have very limited potential,” Mads Flarup Christensen, Greenpeace Nordic’s general secretary, told weekly Danish tech-magazine Ingenioeren.

Denmark decides foreign, defense and security policy, and supports Greenland with the annual grant that accounts for about two-thirds of the Arctic island’s economy.

Crime

Sulphur High student arrested after threat made

Crime

Sheriff: Escapee shot after firing at officers

Local News

Governor optimistic about federal hurricane aid for SW La.

Local News

Eastbound lane of I-10 bridge remains closed after fiery crash

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:Finally, a feel-good movie

Business News

$21M rice mill should be complete by next harvest

Crime

Three more linked to Oakdale bar shooting

Local News

State confirms seventh pediatric death from COVID-19 in fourth surge

Local Business News

Jeff Davis hoping to join program designed to attract business

Local Business News

EMS Academy looking for ‘right people in right spots’

Local Business News

Four state amendments await voters Nov. 13

Local Business News

George Swift column: Recovery, rebuilding after storms

Local Business News

Names in the News: People making a difference in the Lake Area

Local News

Breaux has honed some serious culinary skills since his Crock-pot days

Local News

Cemetery Association asking for help with hurricane-damaged graves

Crime Brief

Fort Polk soldiers charged in DeRidder drive-by shooting

Crime Brief

Lake Arthur man loses hunting privileges

Local News

Higgins says he will vote against raising debt limit

Local News

Field of education plays major role in Broussard household

Local News

Driver, passenger killed in collision with 18-wheeler

Local News

Colo. man struck, killed in Calcasieu

Local News

The Last Island Hurricane of 1856: Killer storm wiped out a pre-Civil War resort island

Local News

Volunteer of Week: Stanford dedicates life to city

Local News

Slow rebuild: Local officials say recovery still a ways off