I can think of one government that may be secretly hoping that global warming is a very real phenomenon: Greenland. According to an article by Karl Ritter of the AP, Greenland has been quietly making preparations for a warmer world for some time. While this includes compensating the Inuit–who hunt on the fringes of the shrinking frozen coastline–for negative climate impacts, it also includes preparations for an economic awakening and perhaps independence from Denmark:
“The retreating ice could uncover potential oil and mineral resources…The U.S. Geological Survey estimates there are more than 18 billion barrels of oil and gas beneath the Arctic waters between Greenland and Canada, and 31 billion barrels off Greenland’s east coast…Even if only a small part becomes recoverable as the Arctic sea ice retreats, it would be enough for a major boost in living standards for Greenland’s tiny population.”
Also, for a country that is covered by an ice sheet that is up to two miles thick, there is little doubt that global warming could offer new opportunities for exploration of both commodities and minerals.
With this in mind, the semi-autonomous territory decided to plan for the influx of resource wealth by setting up a SWF last year, which is modeled on Norway’s fund (by the way, which new resource funds aren’t modeled on Norway’s fund these days?). If all goes according to plan, the influx of revenue will facilitate the creation of a new, independent country in the image of the welfare states of Scandinavia.
“Finding hydrocarbons would be crucial to help Greenlanders realize their long-held dream of cutting the annual 3.4 billion kroner ($680 million) lifeline from former colonial power Denmark that currently rules out full independence.”