Greenland and Denmark to agree on uranium in 2014

Jan 08, 2014
Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt arrives for an EU summit in Brussels on December 20, 2013

An agreement between Greenland and Denmark governing uranium extraction in the Arctic territory will be in place by the end of the year, the Danish prime minister said on Wednesday.

"I'm confident that we will get a cooperation in place in the second half of 2014," Helle Thorning-Schmidt said at a press conference after meeting with her Greenlandic counterpart Aleqa Hammond.

"We have made strides but we also admit that we don't agree on everything," she added.

The meeting focused on the thorny issue of how much say Copenhagen should have in a future mining sector in Greenland, which Hammond believes could become one of the world's top exporters of the substance.

Under Greenland's home rule, former colonial power Denmark maintains control over foreign affairs and defence policy.

An agreement between Copenhagen and Nuuk governing was needed because "it's quite clear that Denmark has obligations with regards to security and defence policy," Thorning-Schmidt said.

"A cooperation agreement is essential to actually beginning" , she added.

Greenland hopes its vast mineral wealth will wean it off Danish subsidies, which currently account for about half of its economy.

To that end, in October the country's parliament revoked a ban that had existed since 1988 on exploiting uranium.

Hammond said it was still unclear whether the Danish mandate should include "the deals we now have to make with international companies, which companies we cooperate with, or which conventions we should sign."

"My generation will retire in 20 years, and there will be twice as many pensioners in Greenland compared to today," she said.

"To even have a society based on the same level of welfare that we advocate, decisions have to be made today, also ... on issues that have to do with uranium, that are of great economic importance," she added.

Explore further: Uranium (IV) found to be mobile in a natural wetland

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Greenpeace hijacks oil firms' Greenland talks

Dec 01, 2011

Greenpeace activists on Thursday diverted oil executives from a meeting on prospecting possibilities off Greenland and instead gave them a 20-minute environmental lecture, the group said.

Denmark names first Arctic envoy

Jan 17, 2012

Denmark, which is planning to lay a claim to the North Pole sea bed, on Tuesday named its first permanent envoy to the resource-rich Arctic.

Uranium (IV) found to be mobile in a natural wetland

Dec 17, 2013

Because they are known to mop up pollutants, artificial wetlands are considered to be an efficient strategy to contain waterborne uranium. But studying a natural wetland near a former uranium-mining site ...

Russian warhead fallout keeps America warm

Oct 09, 2013

Uranium fuel from 20,000 disarmed Russian warheads are generating about half of US nuclear power in a spinoff from a landmark disarmament accord, a top US official said Wednesday.

Advances in decades-old dream of mining seawater for uranium

Aug 21, 2012

Scientists today reported progress toward a 40-year-old dream of extracting uranium for nuclear power from seawater, which holds at least 4 billion tons of the precious material. They described some of the most promising ...

Recommended for you

Far more displaced by disasters than conflict

9 hours ago

Disasters last year displaced three times more people than violent conflicts, showing the urgent need to improve resilience for vulnerable people when fighting climate change, according to a study issued ...

Coral growth rate plummets in 30-year comparison

16 hours ago

A team of researchers working on a Carnegie expedition in Australia's Great Barrier Reef has documented that coral growth rates have plummeted 40% since the mid-1970s. The scientists suggest that ocean acidification ...

Environmentalists and industry duke it out over plastic bags

17 hours ago

Campaigns against disposable plastic shopping bags and their environmental impact recently scored a major win. In August, California lawmakers passed the first statewide ban on the bags, and Governor Jerry Brown is expected ...

User comments : 0