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
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
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.