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Pro-Environment Politics Won’t Deter Demand for Greenland's Resources

MIN READApr 13, 2021 | 18:28 GMT

Voters line up to cast their ballots in the parliamentary election in Greenland's capital of Nuuk on April 6, 2021.

(EMIL HELMS/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images)

The appointment of an environmentalist government will temporarily delay mining operations in Greenland. But a combination of economic needs, pressure from great powers and opportunities created by climate change will result in growing international competition to exploit the island’s natural resources. Greenland is an autonomous territory within the Kingdom of Denmark. The left-wing environmentalist Inuit Ataqatigiit (IA) party won an April 6 parliamentary election on the island with roughly 37% of the vote, while the center-left Siumut party came in second with around 29% of the vote. While Greenland controls most of its own policy areas, its currency, defense and foreign policies are decided by Denmark. Greenland’s strategic position between North America, Europe and the Arctic explains foreign powers’ historic interests in the island. More recently, the prospect of vast mineral resources, including rare earth elements (a key component in high-tech products from smartphones to electric vehicles and defense equipment)...

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