Commercial exploitation of Greenland and the Arctic region… Denmark says, “We are not nervous”

By Flemming Emil Hansen, Dow Jones & Co, Image by Jeff Shea/NY Times

COPENHAGEN—Denmark this week launched its first formal strategy for the Arctic region, a plan intended to facilitate private investment and help international companies enter the far north as the ice melts and vast natural resources become accessible, the country’s foreign minister said in an interview.

The Arctic, which covers more than a sixth of the Earth’s landmass, plus the vast Arctic Ocean, has long been treated as a highly fragile ecosystem that must be protected against commercial exploitation. Denmark’s new strategy marks a shift in priority to focus on economic development and improving the living standards of local people, Lene Espersen told The Wall Street Journal.