Greenland votes to overturn uranium ban
A narrow majority of the Greenlandic parliament passed a measure to overturn the country's ban on uranium mining
Greenlandic residents demonstrating earlier today in favour of keeping the ban in place. Polls showed a majority were against the repeal (Photo: Scanpix)
By the slimmest of margins, Greenland’s parliament has passed a measure to overturn the country’s ban on uranium mining.
Coalition partners Siumut and Atassut secured 15 votes in favour of the measure to end the ban, implemented in 1988. Fourteen voted against.
Speaking in favour of overturning the ban, Greenland’s premier, Aleqa Hammond, said it was a matter of economic priorities.
“We can’t stand by as unemployment rises and the cost of living goes up, while our economy remains stagnant. We need to overturn the ban now.”
Today’s vote came after five hours of heated debate on the floor of parliament that saw efforts to bring a no-confidence vote against the Siumut-led government, as well as a failed vote to put the ban to a referendum.
With the ban now lifted, the government can began processing applications from mining firms seeking to begin operations that involve extracting uranium, either as a primary product or as a by-product.
For more articles and background about the Greenlandic debate over uranium, visit The Arctic Journal.