Our climate is going through huge changes this year. That is clear to those of us who spend their daily lives in the Arctic area.
We continually hear about the marked effects from friends and colleagues who return home from hunting trips in the fjords and along the coasts with new reports of what has changed.
We also experience the effects when we get first-hand accounts from professional hunters who have, over the years, experienced significant changes of the landscape in the form of increased melting and its related consequences. I am thinking of, for example, the changes in the behavior of the wild population of Arctic mammals.
I would therefore like to thank Alejandro Agag and his team for ensuring that this important topic is on today’s agenda. It is of course something that we, from Naalakkersuisut, would like to be a part of and support.
When thinking big and global, we from the Greenlandic side are also in strong support of this issue. I therefore hope that our magnificent landscapes and enormous glaciers will offer the perfect backdrop for a successful race in 2021.
In Greenland this year, we have focused on the green agenda. Last year we launched an ambitious energy sector plan, with a goal of 100% renewable energy by 2030.
In 2021, the same year as things kick off here with Extreme E, we will open an ice fjord centre in Ilulissat, a bit further north of where we are gathered today, where ice and climate will remain on the agenda as overall themes.
We therefore already have a huge focus on climate and the changes that are happening on our very doorstep.
For many years there have been gatherings of international audiences in the areas around Kangerlussuaq. As an entry port to Greenland via its international airport, Kangerlussuaq has long been the first welcoming face to many guests.
Both historically, with the presence of an old American base, but also currently, as the meeting point for many researchers and tourists, Kangerlussuaq has always had an international flair. It is therefore an obvious choice to use this precise location to spread a sustainable message to an international audience.
Cars and Kangerluusuaq are not a new phenomenon. Kangerlussuaq has previously been the testing centre for an international car manufacturer. The stable weather during winter provides good conditions to test winter driving over a longer period.
Naalakkersuisut has also in recent times seen the opportunity to start something similar up again. So who knows? Maybe this event can be the starting pistol for a renewed effort in the area with a focus on Kangerlussuaq as a sustainable Arctic car city.
Jess Svane, Greenland's Minister for Industry, Energy and Research.