What Riches Lie Beneath Greenland's (Melting) Ice?

Beneath the Greenland's icepack, there are untold riches in the form of exploitable energy. The country also provides a pathway to the Arctic which is sought by China, among others.

What's the Latest Development?

Currently, Greenland's economy depends on fish exports and charity from the Danish government, which supplies Greenland with $592 million annually, or 60 percent of its government's revenue. But could it become an independent nation by exploiting the riches beneath its icepack? There are an estimated 52 billion barrels of oil reserves in Greenland, which has lately attracted Chinese investment, and other natural resources like uranium. Greenland, which suffers high unemployment and high suicide rates, could use a break. 

What's the Big Idea?

Perhaps the largest prize to be won via Greenland is access to the Arctic, where a fifth of the world's undiscovered petroleum reserves are thought to exist. Denmark currently claims access to the Arctic through Greenland but territory disputes are likely to come to a head in the future with Russia and the US eagerly claiming portions of the frozen territory. Greenland, seeking to compete for foreign investment, is positioning itself as an 'average' country when it comes to business tax rates and environmental protections.

Photo credit: shutterstock.com

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