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EU and Greenland sign MoU on the development of sustainable raw materials value chains and infrastructure

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EU signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Greenland for a strategic partnership to develop sustainable raw materials value chains.

Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight of the European Commission, Maroš Šefčovič, signed the MoU with the Government of Greenland, Minister of Business, Trade, Mineral Resources, Justice and Gender Equality, Naaja H. Nathanielsen.

Greenland’s extensive natural riches are a major asset for reaping the benefits of global value chains, as it seeks to diversify its economy in a sustainable way. 25 of the 34 critical raw materials identified by the Commission as strategically important for Europe’s industry and the green transition can be found in Greenland.

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The signature of the MoU will contribute to the development of sustainable projects along the raw materials value chains, and to the deployment of infrastructure required to develop them.

Five areas of cooperation

This MoU establishes close cooperation between Greenland and the EU in the following five areas:

Economic and industrial integration of value chains for Critical Raw Materials and other raw materials. This includes networking, developing projects jointly, creating and promoting new business models, attracting investments, supporting access to finance, facilitating trade linkages, developing and integrating support for economic diversification, and ensuring the well-functioning and resilience of these value chains.

Cooperation to leverage high international environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards, to ensure that Greenland’s minerals sector is a lever for sustainable and inclusive economic growth with local and domestic value creation. This includes sustainable exploitation of mineral resources in close dialogue with the Greenlandic society – individuals, organisations, enterprises and other stakeholders – taking fully into account the unique nature of Greenland’s pristine lands, and applying high ESG standards set out in legislation, agreements, guidelines and best practices.

Deployment of infrastructure required for the development of raw material value chains. This includes taking into consideration the specificities of Greenland’s transport and energy infrastructure needs, subject to Arctic or subarctic conditions, and supporting the mobilisation of funding for this infrastructure.

Strengthening of capacities and skills development along raw materials value chains. This includes developing skills at all levels in the raw materials industry and wider society.

Cooperation on research and innovation and sharing of knowledge and technologies related to sustainable exploration, extraction, processing and refining of raw materials. Greenland is eligible for participation in the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, and Earth Observation Data and Copernicus present promising opportunities with relevance for mineral exploration, i.e. mapping of deposits, monitoring of mining including waste management, and monitoring of environmental impact.

Next Steps

Following the signature of the MoU, the EU and Greenland will jointly develop a roadmap with concrete actions to put the Strategic Partnership into practice.


Source: European Commission

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