Global warming is changing environmental conditions in the Arctic and opening new opportunities for resource extraction. Greenland, long thought to have excellent potential for iron ore, copper, zinc, lead, gold, rubies, rare earth elements and oil, has looked to strengthen its economy through the development of these resources. For many in Greenland, including the current government, resource extraction is seen as a necessary step toward the ultimate goal of independence from Denmark.
On September 24, the Energy Security Initiative (ESI) and the John L. Thornton China Center at Brookings hosted Premier Aleqa Hammond of Greenland for an Alan and Jane Batkin International Leaders Forum address on the future of natural resource extraction in Greenland. Following her address, a panel discussion highlighted the findings of a new Brookings report, “The Greenland Gold Rush: Promise and Pitfalls of Greenland’s Energy and Mineral Resources.” Report co-author Kevin Foley, a doctoral candidate at Cornell University, was joined on the panel by ESI Director Charles Ebinger and University of Copenhagen Professor Minik Rosing, who served as a discussant. The panel was moderated by Jonathan Pollack, a senior fellow with the China Center and Center for East Asia Policy Studies at Brookings.
This event was part of the Alan and Jane Batkin International Leaders Forum Series, a new event series hosted by Foreign Policy at Brookings which brings global political, diplomatic and thought leaders to Washington, D.C. for major policy addresses.