Arctic News Roundup: 6-11 January

København rådhus, Copenhagen [Photo by Marc Lanteigne]
By Mingming Shi

1) Prime Minister Kim Kielsen of Greenland, a territory within the sovereignty of Denmark, delivered his 2020 New Year’s speech on the 1st of January. However, the remarks received mixed reactions from the Greenlandic public, including criticism from other political parties, such as Inuit Ataqatigiit (IA), Partii Naleraq (PN) and Demokraterne over the government’s tax policies, visions for the future of the nation, etc., according to KNR, the Greenlandic Broadcasting Corporation.

2) On Tuesday, the government leaders of the three components of the Kingdom of Denmark, namely Prime Ministers of Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, held a meeting at the Office of the Danish Prime Minister. During the meeting, foreign affairs, security, defence policies, and ways to strengthen cooperation within the Danish realm were discussed, through the lens of growing interest in the Arctic, accas reported by KNR.

3) On the first day of this week, 6 January, the Icelandic Statistics Institute (Hagstofa Íslands), published information on the domestic labour market for the last quarter of 2019. There were around job 2500 vacancies and 229,500 positions which were filled in the past three months. Subsequently, on the same day, the Reykjavík Grapevine, an Icelandic media service published in English, published an article to provide a short analysis on the employment situation based on this news.

4) According to, an Icelandic news service agency, most of the flights from and to Keflavík international airport in Iceland were canceled earlier this week, caused by extreme weather across the country.

5) A new report by the Copenhagen-based Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS), entitled ‘Intensifying on Great Power Politics in the Arctic – Points for Consideration by the Kingdom of Denmark’, was published online this week. The report compares the Arctic policies of the three of the primary global powers (China, Russia, United States), and analyses the current and potential responses of the Nordic countries.

6) A government policy document on climate change and possible adaption of the country was unveiled by the Putin government in Moscow. The plan, published on the website of Russian Government, summarises the impacts of climate change on economic performance, social lives, and other related areas, as well as measures to prepare Russia for changed environmental conditions, according to the Guardian.

7) Norway held an official opening for the Johan Sverdrup field this week, the largest oil deposit in country’s shelf, which began to produce oil and gas since late 2019.  The Norwegian Government is backing the project, including Prime Minister Erna Solberg, and Oil and Energy Minister Sylvi Listhaug. However, there has been criticism of the facilities from the perspective of environmental and climate changes concerns, including from domestic political figures such as Une Bastholm of the Norwegian Green Party, and Greta Thunberg, an internationally known climate activist, according to the High North News.