The Greenlandic newspaper Sermitsiaq has published an article about an exchange between Professor Minik Rosing and the Minister of Finance and Nordic Cooperation Vittus Qujaukitsoq.
Minik Rosing wants the government to establish an environment-friendly basis for the export of Greenlandic resources. Minik Rosing argues it would be economical to do business on a basis on UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Vittus Qujakitsoq flat out rejects this notion. His argument? That the west has for several centuries exploited Greenland’s resources including fish, wales and minerals. Yes, other countries have exploited Greenland, its people and its resources – does that mean the Greenlandic government is now free to exploit it as well?
Surely, one should always learn from previous mistakes? Whether the mistakes were made by other people or oneself doesn’t really matter. A mistake is a mistake – and should not be repeated.
Vittus argues that Greenland should be allowed to develop as a country and therefore have not and will not ratify the Paris agreement on limiting climate change. This proves that Vittus fails to understand the world in which we all live. A country and/or business can certainly develop and prosper while still caring for the environment.
Norway makes money on hydropower. Denmark has several companies in the wind-energy sector. Every single car company has a strategy on moving to non-fossil-fuel vehicles. There are now – in the US – employed more people in solar than in oil, gas, and coal combined.
Other companies can use their sustainable innovations to brand themselves and to get exposure. Like Carlsberg, which will no longer use plastic to keep their packs of 6 cans together. They will now use their own glue to hold the cans together. Carlsberg will still make money, and they will now be much more sustainable. See Vittus? It is possible to do both.
Vittus Qujaukitsoq is on the wrong side of history. Greenland, Greenlandic companies, Greenlandic people and the Greenlandic nature will lose because of people like him.
Shame on you Vittus.