Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 110

110 Arctic Yearbook 2015 arguments. What does not legitimise extraordinary hunting rights is, however, when an economic logic is brought into play, like in the following statement made by then Minister for Fishing, Hunting and Agriculture, Ane Hansen, where she argues that: “[…] we, in our endeavour to implement selfgovernment in Greenland, have to make full use of all the resources we can get, including all animals caught” (Hansen 2010: 1. Author’s translation). Suspicion of commercial whaling and sealing was exactly the reason why IWC did not accept Greenland’s wish for a higher quota in 2012 and the explanation for why the WTO undermined EU’s ‘Inuit exception’ because it was perceived as being anti-competitive to seal product export in Canada and Norway (Naalakkersuisut 2013b). The question of equality or minority has also been relevant at another level, as Greenland is represented by Denmark in IWC and WTO, while they both carry out their own bilateral relation with the EU. Throughout the two processes politicians such as Juliane Henningsen from Inuit Ataqatigiit has, thus, often suggested that Greenlanders as people pursuant to international law with the right of self-determination should work “[…] persistently to ensure that Greenland has an independent voice in IWC and WTO, as decisions in such forums have influence on Greenland’s opportunities for cooperation with other countries” (EM2011/14. Author’s translation). This has, however, not yet happened, but as an alternative to the European market, Greenland is now loo king towards Asia, where China, South Korea and Japan have expressed a growing interest in Greenland’s seal products (Kleist 2013: 3; Naalakkersuisut 2014a). Development and protection of Greenland’s environment Greenland’s self-government was introduced in the wake of the global rediscovery of the Arctic, which – with the beginning of the global financial crisis and the simultaneous historically high oil prices in mind – created a significant interest in the newly discovered vast hydrocarbon resources and the emerging shipping routes in the High North (cf. i.a. Gad 2013). Greenland with Kuupik Kleist at the helm was indeed very attentive to this development and it soon became clear that the upcoming COP15 in Copenhagen was going to be an important summit where Greenland would seek to position itself as an individual international actor with an agenda different from the Danish Government’s. Kleist, thus, stated in his first opening speech of Inatsisartut: “We would like to have the same opportunity as other countries that have been able to exploit their oil potentials without paying taxes. It cannot be true that when it is our turn we then have to pay through the nose to emit CO2” (Kleist 2009a: 12. Author’s translation). Initially, Denmark was not keen on giving Greenland special treatment, but a few days before the beginning of COP15, Kleist and Denmark’s Minister of Climate, Lykke Friis, signed a memorandum of understanding which by a single sentence in a footnote frees Greenland from being subject to the same obligations as Denmark. The footnote simply stated: “Therefore, the commitments of Denmark as a member of the European Union do not apply to the Faroes and Greenland” (Kleist & Friis 2009). Though the result of COP15 was limited to the nonlegally binding Copenhagen Accord, it was still a historic event for the development of a more autonomous foreign policy, which is part of the raison d’être as confirmed by Kleist in a feature article shortly after: “The climate policy must be seen in the context of the overall political objective of a financially self-sustaining Greenland” (Kleist 2009b. Author’s translation). The Power of Collective Identity Narration