The joke in Greenland these days is how appropriate it is that the name of the state’s capital is Nuuk, is now that the country is considering opening up its uranium deposits for development.Denmark’s Politiken via Presseurop reports that thanks to global warming, Greenland’s icy surface is melting away, and many believe it’s too poor to refuse the opportunity. The country sits on top of the fifth-largest uranium deposit in the world.
Revenues from fishing are falling, and so are grants from Denmark (which controls Greenland), which is forcing the Greenlanders to experiment. Few who do not know Greenland can grasp the extent of the poverty there.
Chinese and South Korean firms, as well as Alcoa, have already begun circling the landmass.
“Chinese companies don’t need to rush,” Su Jianjing, a Chinese national working for the Copenhagen law firm Bech-Bruun, told Caixin. “They can first let Alcoa charge to the front” by introducing large-scale Chinese labour to Greenland.”
Since 2009, Greenland has enjoyed greater autonomy to manage its natural resources itself. But with that autonomy came the end of millions in subsidies from Copenhagen. “It is difficult to live from prawns alone. That is why uranium has become so interesting,” Brussels-based De Standaard explains.
The plan has Irked some environmentalists. And technically, the Danish parliament would still have to approve a final decision.
But a majority in the Danish parliament is prepared for the first time to repeal Denmark’s nominal zero-tolerance policy on the radioactive metal, according to Euractiv.