Globale Seniorer

Arctic Area and Greenland

Arctic – the Hotspot in the Cold North

The importance of the Arctic has grown in the past decades. Global warming has caused climate changes, critical minerals may be extracted from the bedrock in Greenland, the Northeast Passage may open up for commercial cargo traffic and on top of it the global military powers has shown growing interest for the Arctic. Besides, in Greenland there is a growing desire for further or full independence from Denmark. It is part of a vision, where the population would enjoy the goods of modern life and at the same time keep traditional culture and traditions alive.

As an Arctic state Denmark has an important role to play in the process. But she is up against stronger nations in decisions regarding the enormous, cold areas up north. How can and will each of the Arctic countries ensure and defend their rights and interests?

Internally in the Kingdom of Denmark (Rigsfællesskabet) the relationship between Greenland and Denmark is undergoing changes. Greenland is demanding more influence on foreign policy matters than Denmark has been willing to admit. How will this conflict of interests influence the future Danish policy for the Arctic? And how will the positions and sentiments in Greenland develop over time?

On this background the Arctic thematic group was established in May 2021. We identified these themes to explore within the first year:

Arctic as a hotspot for global security interests
Climatic changes and environmental challenges and response capabilities
Greenland – desires and options for development and independence

By end of February 2022 the group has had meetings on:

Climate and Environment in the Arctic Area. Presenter: Hanne Petersen, former head of working group under the Arctic Council; member of the thematic group.
Greenland – Challenges and Potentials for Economic Independence. Presenter: Christen Sørensen, former chairman of the Advicory Committee on the Economy of Greenland.
The Role of Denmark in the Arctic Council – and in the International Cooperation on Arctic. Presenter: Seniorchiefconsultant Peter Linde, Team Arctic, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Experience Gained from Exploration of Oil and Minerals in Greenland. Presenter: Hans Kristian Olsen, former CEO of NUNAOIL, the national oil company of Greenland.

Three more meetings are planned for the spring of 2022.

In June the group will make status and discus future activities.

Contact: Arne Skov Andersen,

Update of March 1, 2022.

The Ice Fjord at Nuuk, Photo Asbjørn
On the Rocks of the Fjord, Phota Asbjørn
The National Day in Greenland, photo Asbjørn