COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Residents of Greenland have switched to daylight saving time and moved their clocks one hour forward this weekend for the very last time.
Unlike most of Europe, Greenlanders will leave their clocks untouched come autumn when daylight saving time ends. While Europe and the U.S. debate whether to stick to the twice-yearly practice, Greenland — a vast Danish semi-independent territory in the Arctic — has resolved to perennially remain only three hours behind Copenhagen and most other European countries instead of four.
Greenland’s parliament, Inatsisartut, voted to stick to daylight saving time year-round on Nov. 24 last year. Officials say it will give Greenlanders another hour of daylight in the afternoons and more time to do business with Europe and farther afield.
“The shift of time zone marks an exciting new beginning, an equal connection to North America and Europe, and an opportunity to slow down in a fast-paced world,” Visit Greenland, the local government’s tourism office said in a statement.
Geographically, sparsely populated Greenland belongs to the North American continent but geopolitically, it is in Europe.
Greenland is part of the Danish Realm and its southernmost tip is more than 3,200 kilometers (nearly 2,000 miles) west of Copenhagen.
Its 56,000 people mainly Inuit, indigenous people who chiefly live on the west coast in small towns and hamlets or remote coastal settlements.