Greenland. In January, Denmark and Greenland signed an agreement that opens for future exports of uranium from Greenland. Denmark, which previously opposed uranium mining, now gives Greenland the right to extraction but retains the political responsibility for radioactive material not to fall into the wrong hands.
During the year, heat records were broken. According to countryaah, the current population of Greenland is 56,781. Measurements from 14 weather stations in Greenland showed significantly higher temperatures in 2016 than before. In June, 24.7 degrees were recorded outside Nuuk, the highest in June since official measurements started.
The warmer climate has led to increased mackerel fishing in Greenland, as large fishing hours migrated farther north. At the same time, the inland ice melts faster and faster in the heat. A giant ice floe of nearly 100 square kilometers was released during the year from a glacier in northeast Greenland. US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Greenland and studied the ice melt, which he described as alarming.
Despite the strong effect of climate change on Greenland, the island government refused to sign the global climate agreement from Paris in 2015. The government thought that a signature would bind Greenland to conditions that prevented mining. A mining opening is expected to increase carbon dioxide emissions by a large amount in relation to the poor population of the island.
The Danish Minister of Defense proposed a major military upgrading in the Danish areas of the Arctic. The proposal included a Greenlandic home defense under the command of the Danish Arctic Alliance in Nuuk.
Greenland’s former head of government Aleqa Hammond was excluded in August from her party Siumut after it was revealed that she had traded privately on credit cards which she has as a member of the Danish Parliament. Thus, she is politically savage. Hammond had previously had to leave the government after using the National Board’s overdraft facility for private spending of more than SEK 100,000.
In the 1960s, the US military attempted to build a secret nuclear weapon base under the ice cap east of the Thule air base in northern Greenland. The abandoned project has left huge amounts of waste and pollution in the ice. During the year came a report documenting over 9,000 tonnes of building materials and iron, 200,000 liters of diesel fuel as well as PCBs and more than 24 million liters of sewage and low radioactive waste water from a nuclear reactor. Continued melting of the inland ice increases the risk of contamination leaking and spreading, according to researchers. In total, there are over 30 abandoned military installations in Greenland, including the Ikateq airfield in the south-east, where approximately 100,000 oil barrels rust. Greenland wants Denmark and the United States to take responsibility for clearing.
In October, the Greenland government exploded when Siumut chose to seek new cooperation with the leftist party IA. The Democrats and Atassut thus left the coalition, which has long been plagued by internal strife.
Siumut, IA and the small party Partii Naleraq formed a new coalition with 24 of the County Council’s 31 mandates as support. They agreed on social initiatives and want Greenland to become independent. However, they disagree with uranium mining and have chosen to put that issue before them. Siumut’s Kim Kielsen also leads the new coalition.