United States and Kingdom of Denmark: Strengthening Our Alliance

“In that spirit, as other countries strive to meet and raise their climate targets, the United States will mobilize resources, institutional knowledge, and technical expertise from across our government, the private sector, civil society, and research universities to help.”

– Secretary Antony J. Blinken, April 22, 2021

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken will travel to the Kingdom of Denmark on May 16-17 and 20, 2021, and will have meetings with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod; Greenlandic Premier Múte Bourup Egede and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Business, and Trade Pele Broberg; and Faroese Minister of Foreign Affairs and Culture Jenis av Rana. During his visit, Secretary Blinken will emphasize the importance of advancing mutual goals, tackling the climate crisis, the development of green technology, defense cooperation, and the Arctic. The Secretary will affirm U.S. commitments to deepening its relationships with Greenland and the Faroe Islands.

A Close Relationship and Alliance

  • The United States and the Kingdom of Denmark enjoy a close relationship and alliance, built on mutual commitments to democracy, freedom, trade, rule of law, security, and prosperity. The closeness of our military, economic, and political cooperation is the basis of our enduring partnership.
  • The United States cooperates closely with Denmark on European and other regional political and security matters, working extensively to promote peace and stability beyond Europe’s borders. Denmark is a stalwart North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Ally and a reliable contributor to multinational stability operations and international assistance efforts. Denmark has forces deployed worldwide in support of NATO, the United Nations, and the Global Coalition to Defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Denmark took over leadership of NATO Mission Iraq in November 2020. The U.S. Air Force presence at Thule Air Base at Pituffik in northwest Greenland provides significant strategic value for NATO and the United States by playing a critical role in our early warning radar system, facilitating communication with polar orbit satellites, and supporting scientific research.
  • The United States and the Kingdom of Denmark share concerns about the health of both our citizens and the global community as we seek solutions – prevention, treatment, and vaccination – to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Denmark joined the United States in making commitments to support COVAX at the April 15 “One World Protected” event. We must work together to safely restore global travel and trade. We look forward to partnering with the Kingdom of Denmark to increase global preparedness to prevent, detect, and respond to future outbreaks.

Confronting Climate Change Challenges Together

  • The United States officially rejoined the Paris Agreement on February 19 and is taking action to tackle the climate crisis at home and abroad. We are working to catalyze greater global ambition to keep the goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees C within reach, to drive a pathway to net zero global emissions by mid-century or before, and to help vulnerable countries increase resilience and adapt to the devastating impacts of climate change.
  • The United States and Denmark are both leading by example, demonstrating a shared commitment to increase ambition under the Paris Agreement and planning how we will meet our emissions goals. We applauded Denmark’s announcement to cut CO2 emissions by 7.1 million tons or 70 percent by 2030. The United States has announced a new target to achieve a 50-52 percent reduction from 2005 levels in economy-wide net greenhouse gas emissions in 2030, in addition to its goal of a net zero emissions economy no later than 2050.
  • The United States and the Kingdom of Denmark have a long and storied history of active scientific collaboration to study the impacts of climate change on the Arctic and the marine environment in the North Atlantic. Our joint efforts have led to a clearer understanding of the global impacts of the melting ice sheet in Greenland. Summit Station, located near the center of the Greenland ice sheet at more than 10,000 feet above sea level, is the only high latitude, high elevation scientific facility that continuously monitors climate conditions year-round.
  • During President Biden’s Leaders’ Summit on Climate, the United States and the Kingdom of Denmark announced our intent to sign a Memorandum of Understanding in the field of research and innovation for green technologies.

Partnering in the Arctic and Through the Arctic Council

  • The United States and the Kingdom of Denmark work together closely in the Arctic Council, the premier forum for discussing matters of Arctic governance, made up of the eight Arctic states and six Permanent Participants, who represent Arctic indigenous peoples’ organizations. The United States envisions the Arctic region as one that is free of conflict, where nations act responsibly, and where economic development and investment takes place in a sustainable, transparent manner that respects the environment and interests and cultures of indigenous peoples.
  • The United States welcomed the Kingdom of Denmark’s recent decision to invest $245 million in North Atlantic and Arctic defense, highlighting a mutual commitment to keeping the Arctic stable and secure.
  • The United States and the Kingdom of Denmark share concerns about increased Russian military presence in the Arctic. We agree on the importance of safeguarding sensitive critical infrastructure in the region.

Deepening the Relationship with Greenland

  • The reopening of the U.S. Consulate in Nuuk in June 2020 reflects a mutual desire to broaden and deepen the U.S. relationship with Greenland. The United States has worked closely with Greenland on increasing engagement, including $12.1 million in programming to strengthen our economic and education partnership, share best practices in energy and mining, and deepen people-to-people ties. The United States will work with Greenland to identify and expand cooperation, including in trade and investment, energy and mining, scientific research, sustainable tourism, and public health.

Increasing Cooperation with the Faroe Islands

  • The United States is committed to strengthening its relationship with the Faroe Islands by implementing our Partnership Declaration, which aims to increase cooperation in science, environmental protection and climate change, maritime security, tourism, economic development, culture, and education.

Building New Futures Through Science and People-to-People Ties

  • The United States and Denmark share a strong commitment to educational, cultural, and professional exchanges. According to the 2020 Open Doors report, 4,846 Americans studied in Denmark in the 2018/19 academic year. In the 2019/20 academic year, more than 1,260 Danish students studied at a U.S. college or university. Overall, there are more than 8,000 exchange alumni from Denmark and more than 1,500 Americans have visited Denmark on exchanges. Interest in exchanges remains high despite recent challenges to student mobility.
  • For 70 years, the Fulbright Commission in Denmark has supported academic exchanges for more than 3,500 Danish and U.S. students and scholars. The Fulbright Program is supported through funding from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Danish Ministry of Culture, the Danish Ministry of Education, as well as public and private sector sources. The Fulbright Arctic Initiative stimulates international scientific collaboration in the Arctic by bringing together scholars and researchers from all eight Arctic nations, including two from Denmark, to investigate topics including energy, security, health and wellness, and economic sustainability. The 2021-22 program builds on two previously successful initiatives, and the United States appreciates the government of Denmark’s financial support.
  • The International Visitor Leadership Program has been an invaluable U.S. public diplomacy tool. Alumni take on leadership roles throughout Denmark and expand the networks of influencers in Greenland and Faroe Islands to strengthen the U.S.-Kingdom of Denmark alliance. The United States appreciates the contributions made by Danish partners to the NASA Perseverance Mission. Perseverance’s entry, descent, and landing microphone is a critical component of the rover as it looks for signs of ancient life.

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