After spending last year in Argentina, the Greenland Dialogue will return to its home country of Denmark this summer. Denmark’s Climate and Energy Ministry confirmed to the AP news agency that the unique climate-centred conference will be held in the Danish town of Ilulissat at the end of July.
Although the list of attending dignitaries has yet to finalised, the Greenland Dialogue traditionally attracts top ranking policy makers from around the globe. The innovative conference began in 2005 when Danish Environment Minister Connie Hedegaard got 20 other environment ministers together in Greenland for a closed-door 2-day meeting.
Such was its success that it continues to this day. What makes the Greenland Dialogue unique among the plethora of global initiative summits is that each minister may bring only one official with them. The media is not allowed to observe, and no microphones or negotiation documents are allowed in. The concept is to talk about climate issues, not spend time hashing out concrete conclusions.
Connie Hedegaard notes that the whole point of the meeting is not to have a goal of reaching any decisions, a focus that often derails other geopolitical conferences. The aim of this unusual meeting is for countries to voice their misunderstandings and work them out through discussion. It also opens up the possibility of revisiting old areas of debate that have been closed down.