What’s Special About Greenland

President Trump reportedly wants to buy Greenland. But what’s so special about the territory?

Not for sale

Greenland is a coveted territory

President Donald Trump is reportedly interested in the U.S. purchasing Greenland. The territory posted a reaction on Twitter. #Greenland is rich in valuable resources such as minerals, the purest water and ice, fish stocks, seafood, renewable energy and is a new frontier for adventure tourism. “We’re open for business, not for sale.” But Trump's not the first U.S. president to look at buying the territory…In 1946, Harry Truman offered $100 million for it. Today, Greenland is part of the Kingdom of Denmark.

Greenland and its strategic resources

Greenland has a vast reserve of deposits and rare earth minerals. These minerals are used in windmills, hybrid cars, and smartphones. And as the ice caps melt, it's becoming easier to access them. “And with the receding glaciers we already see that we can find minerals that previously were hidden under the ice,” Hans Enoksen Greenlandic, a politician who served as the third Prime Minister of Greenland.

Greenland is sparsely populated

It’s the second largest island on the planet according Statistics Greenland. However, its population density is just 0.1 people per square mile. More than 56,000 people live in Greenland. About 60% of them live in the five largest cities: Nuuk, Sisimiut, Ilulissat, Aasiaat, and Qaqortoq. Greenland’s inhabitants, most of whom work in the fishing industry, are also threatened by climate change. “It’s warmer in the summer and colder in the winter. Last year, there was no ice in the port. We get frost and ice, but the ice isn’t thick enough to fish on,” Sound Regina Johansen, resident of Ilimanaq.

Greenland is an autonomous territory

Greenland has its own flag and its own government, the Naalakkersuisut. It was granted home rule on May 1, 1979 according to Larousse. On June 21, 2009, it obtained a broader self-government status, allowing it control over its natural resources and making Greenlandic its official language.

Greenland is an ice-covered territory

Greenland is 836,330 square miles, 81% of which is covered in ice. However, climate change threatens the ice sheet. “Our satellite observations show that the ice cap is losing more ice than it gains each year. It is not in a condition to grow, but to shrink gradually. With the rates of loss where they are, if they speed up, we could lose the ice sheet,” Sound Ruth Mottram, climate scientist. Some think the ice melt could be beneficial for tourism. “Here of course there is melting ice, there is the prospect of increased navigation, the prospect of increased tourism, I think the likelihood of increased oil- and gas exploration in the Arctic region. So, as countries bordering the Arctic region, I think we have a particular responsibility to consider the effects of that those changes and those new activities are going to have," former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State (2007–2009) - John Dimitri Negroponte.