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Arctic nation has no active oil fields but U.S. estimates there could be 17.5 billion barrels undiscovered. The government of Greenland has decided to suspend all oil exploration off the world’s largest island, calling it “a natural step” because the Arctic government “takes the climate crisis seriously.” No oil has been found yet around Greenland, but officials there had seen potentially vast reserves as a way to help Greenlanders realize their long-held dream of independence from Denmark by cutting the subsidy of the equivalent of about $680 million Canadian the Danish territory receives from the Danish government every year. Global warming means that retreating ice could uncover potential oil and mineral resources which, if successfully tapped, could dramatically change the fortunes of the semi-autonomous territory of 57,000 people. “The future does not lie in oil. The future belongs to renewable energy, and in that respect we have much more to gain,” the Greenland government said in a statement. The government said it “wants to take co-responsibility for combating the global climate crisis.”

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