Greenland. Greenland was in a financially difficult
position. The government hoped for increased revenues from
raw material extraction, fishing and tourism. In January,
China entered the Greenland mining industry for the first
time. A major Chinese importer of iron took control of a
Greenland mining project, which is estimated to cost DKK 13
billion. Iron ore is to be mined under the inland ice in a
desolate, cold and windy area near the Arctic Circle,
northeast of the capital Nuuk.
At the same time, Statoil, GDF Suez and Dong announced
that they had given up trying to find oil in the sea west of
Greenland. The companies' conclusion was that it was too
expensive and too uncertain. Another company, Cairn Energy,
had spent SEK 7 billion on unprofitable drilling and had
closed its office in Nuuk. This development affected the
economy of Greenland, which previously received hundreds of
millions of SEK a year in fees from oil exploration. But
Greenland oil is difficult and expensive to access, and in
the long term, oil looks to be losing ground to other energy
sources. Greenpeace welcomed that several oil companies have
completed their search in areas where the risk of oil spills
is high and with extreme consequences for the environment
and fisheries. In April, the Greenland mining company
Nuna-Mineral filed for bankruptcy. Greenland's
self-government is the main owner of the company.
Self-government government leader Kim Kielsen explained
in April that his goal is not to free Greenland from
Denmark. According to Nielsen, many problems must be solved,
such as unemployment, housing shortages, poverty and
threatening financial deficits, before there can be talk of
increased independence from Denmark.
Ahead of the Danish elections in June, the deposed
Greenlandic leader of the former self-government government,
Aleqa Hammond, declared that she was running for a
Greenlandic seat in the Folketinget for the Social
Democratic Siumut. She had been forced to step down in 2014
after accusations of using large sums of public money for
private use. The popular popular Hammond received by far the
most Greenlandic votes and took a mandate for Siumut, the
second Greenlandic mandate in the Folketing went to the left
party IA (Inuit Ataqatigiit).
Greenland, together with the Faroe Islands during the
year, demanded a renegotiation of the rules for the
so-called national community, so that the two islands can
decide independently on their fishing policy. They want to
increase their catch quotas when climate change makes the
world ocean warmer and the fishing hours are heading north.
But the EU and Asian countries also want some of the
increasing fishing opportunities in the North Atlantic as
the ice melts at the North Pole. In the negotiations on
this, Denmark wants to speak for the entire national
community, but Greenland and the Faroe Islands want to
In September, an agreement was signed between Denmark,
Greenland, Norway, the Russian Federation, the USA and
Canada to protect the polar bears and their habitat,
primarily against threats from shipping and oil and gas
drilling. The biggest threat comes from climate change and
melting sea ice, since ice is crucial to polar bears'
ability to hunt for food and survive.
In September, the European Parliament adopted a new
regulation on sealskins, which means that the 28 member
states can continue to buy sealskin products from Greenland,
despite the EU having an import and export ban on sealskins.
The exception for Inuit people was threatened but remained
after pressure from Denmark and Greenland.
A survey of public health in Greenland presented in
October showed that Greenland men live on average 69 years
and women 74 years. This means eight years lower average
life than in Denmark. Smoking, alcohol and suicide are
important causes, according to investigators. 57% of the
population in Greenland smoke, 17% in Denmark. In relation
to the population, Greenland has one of the highest suicide
rates in the world.