DENMARK MAKES ARCTIC CLAIM OF AROUND 900,000 SQUARE KILOMETERS

Thelocal.dk on December 15, 2014, reported that Denmark is making an historic push to lay claim to the North Pole and the Arctic seabed, the Foreign Ministry has announced,…Excerpts below:

Together with Greenland, Denmark plans to file a submission on that will redefine the boundaries of the continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean.

Denmark’s claim covers approximately 895,541 square kilometres – or about 20 times the size of Denmark – and will be formally submitted to the Commission on the Limits and the Continental Shelf (CLCS).

“The submission of our claim to the continental shelf north of Greenland is a historic and important milestone for the Kingdom of Denmark. The objective of this huge project is to define the outer limits of our continental shelf and thereby – ultimately – of the Kingdom of Denmark,” Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard said in a statement.

With the move, Denmark will become the first country in the world to attempt to claim outright ownership of the North Pole.

Russia and Canada have made overlapping claims to the North Pole and large swathes of the Arctic that the US Geological Survey thinks could hold vast amounts of undiscovered oil and natural gas reserves.

Denmark’s claim to the Arctic seabed is the result of 12 years of planning and, according to daily newspaper Politiken (Copenhagen), 330 million kroner ($55.2 million) spent on research.

States are entitled to claim the continental shelf extending to 200 nautical miles from their coast. According to the Foreign Ministry, the new area north of Greenland is the fifth claim Denmark has made for a continental shelf that extends behind the 200 nautical mile mark. The first submission was made in April 2009, with subsequent claims coming in December 2010, June 2012 and November 2013. Those previous claims are currently under consideration, so the Foreign Ministry said “it is therefore difficult to predict” when the new submission will be considered. Politiken reports that the process could take up to 15 years.

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