Newsletter: Greenland Raises Its Voice and Several Ships are on Thin Ice

Ice-strengthened supramax Kumpula (Arc 4) on the NSR being escorted by nuclear icebreaker Vaygach
Ice-strengthened supramax Kumpula (Arc 4) on the NSR being escorted by nuclear icebreaker Vaygach. (Source: Courtesy of ESL Shipping)

Dear reader! The world looks to Greenland, which is fighting for a seat at the Arctic political table. We also write about freight ships running the risk of an ice-free Arctic, and a whole lot more. This is the past week as seen from – and in – the High North.

It has been an eventful week in the Arctic, though that is not new. So, we will hit it off with our Editor-in-Chief Arne O. Holm, who is critical of all the promises of new, North Norwegian green industry:

“To risk putting a fly in the ointment: Without political governance, the major-scale industrial initiative in Northern Norway may end up with cannibalism unmodified” Holm writes in his Friday commentary, which is quite worth a read.

He argues that the current Arctic policy resembles more of an incantation than a political tool when facing the new industry.

Greenland raises its voice

Over to Greenland, which has seen a veritable storm of interest in recent years.

Ever since then-US President Donald Trump stated that he wanted to buy Greenland, the eyes of the world have been looking towards the world’s biggest island. There’s been no escaping it for local politicians.

“The focus on Greenland has increased and with that, conflict” MP Aaja Chemnitz Larsen (IA) explains to High North News.

The US interest in Greenland is perhaps most clearly expressed through its use of Thule Air Base, the US’ northernmost air base in Greenland.

“American militarization in Greenland will follow naturally after its major influx in Northern Norway” says Danish Security Analyst (Norwegian only).

Greenland’s self-rule authority, the Naalakkersuisut, announces that it has stripped a Chinese mining company of its license to extract iron ore in a mine near the capital, Nuuk.

Stuck in the ice and avoiding crisis

The weather in the Arctic is unpredictable and may be intense. The increasingly long ice-free season along the Northern Sea Route in the Russian Arctic has attracted several vessels which have then gotten stuck in ice.

Are the current sailing regulations sufficient to maintain security when an increasing amount of vessels sail along the NSR?

Following last summer’s cement crisis in Sweden, the LKAB mining company looks into the opportunity to replace vast amounts of cement with a more environmentally friendly solution.

It also appears that LKAB and Swedish industry in general may avoid an acute cement crisis. (Both Norwegian only.)

Read more at High North News.

We are now entering into the first weekend of advent, and it is time to light a candle for peace and reflection. If you want to share any of your thoughts with us, please drop us a line or two at

Wishing you all a peaceful weekend from the High North!
All the best,
Trine Jonassen,
News Editor, High North News