Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 111

111 Arctic Yearbook 2015 The goal of differentiated climate targets was the same the subsequent year, when Kleist participated in COP16 in Cancún, but instead of referring to future anticipated independence, the justification was then instead based on indigenous people’s rights, exemplified by Kleist’s statement after the summit: “Last week, we were the only Arctic country that drew attention to the indigenous people’s rights in relation to climate change. We are really proud of this, and the reactions have been very positive” (Fisker 2010. Author’s translation). Instead of Greenland vs. Denmark, the dichotomy was here the indigenous people vs. the industrialised world that formed a potential threat towards growing industrialisation in Greenland. The background for this decision was probably that the COP15 agreement with the Danish government was no longer applicable, which meant that Greenland was no longer certain of self-representation and therefore sought to be part of an alternative coalition. In August 2012, Greenland’s individual position in the climate negotiations was, however, enhanced as Denmark and Greenland signed an agreement based on §13.2 in the Act on Self-Government: “In matters which exclusively concern Greenland, the Government may authorise Naalakkersuisut to conduct the negotiations, with the cooperation of the Foreign Service” (Act on Greenland SelfGovernment 2009). This was a milestone in Greenland’s development of a more autonomous foreign policy. The more individual position on the world stage was reflected at COP18, where the argument of indigenous people’s rights was downplayed in favour of articulations pleading for equality, anticipated industrialisation and, hence, future independence. Since the introduction of self-government, the possibilities rather than the risks have been most often emphasised in the official communication, but this changed when UN Secretary General Ban KiMoon arrived in Greenland in March 2014. Climate change’s negative effects on the vulnerable environment then became far more pronounced, i.a. by then Premier Aleqa Hammond who stated: “It is also important to see that the strong, proud culture in the Arctic is threatened because of climate changes” (Naalakkersuisut 2014b. Author’s translation) and “Climate changes have a direct impact on our daily lives, on the household economy and that we get food on the table” (ibid.). In this way she referred to the collective identity narrative where the hunting traditions are particularly threatened as hunting grounds and animals disappear in step with increasing temperatures. According to Hammond it is, however, not only of existential importance to the professional hunters, but to the survival of the cultural heritage of the entire Greenlandic population and hence a matter of protecting the Greenland nation against an external threat. Half a year later, Hammond reciprocated Ki-Moon’s visit when she – at what became her last international journey as Premier of Greenland – travelled to New York to give a speech at the UNESCO side event on climate change and Indigenous peoples’ rights. Here she underlined the connection between climate change and exerting Indigenous peoples’ rights, while she in line with the tendency since COP15, expressed that “Greenland will not be a passive victim of climate change. A likely scenario for the future of Greenland is an economic growth supported by new large-scale industries and oil and mineral extraction. This will profoundly affect our society and the environment” (Hammond 2014: 3-4). A few minutes later she, however, also stated that “At the heart of Inuit cultu &R