For Greenland Prime Minister Aleqa Hammond, global warming means mining riches, economic independence—and freedom.

Photograph by Ciril Jazbec for Bloomberg Businessweek

For Greenland Prime Minister Aleqa Hammond, global warming means mining riches, economic independence—and freedom.

Photograph by Ciril Jazbec for Bloomberg Businessweek

Drill Sergeant

For Greenland Prime Minister Aleqa Hammond, global warming means mining riches, economic independence—and freedom.

Photograph by Ciril Jazbec for Bloomberg Businessweek

Greenland’s inland ice sheet.

Photograph by Espen Rasmussen/Panos Pictures

From left: Denmark Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Hammond, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in March in Uummannaq, deep in the Arctic Circle.

Photograph by Ciril Jazbec for Bloomberg Businessweek

Narsaq, birthplace of Greenland’s prime minister.

Photograph by Espen Rasmussen/Panos Pictures

About to enter a church, Hammond greets locals in Narsaq, where she knows everybody.

Photograph by Ciril Jazbec for Bloomberg Businessweek

View of a frozen ship in Uummannaq. Because of climate change, the sea now freezes for only a few months in winter, threatening the traditional methods of seal hunting.

Photograph by Ciril Jazbec for Bloomberg Businessweek

View from a home in Narsaq, where the unemployment rate is 15 percent.

Photograph by Espen Rasmussen/Panos Pictures

The town of Narsaq in southern Greenland in June 2013.

Photograph by Espen Rasmussen/Panos Pictures