Icelandic singer-songwriter and environmentalist Björk sent a declaration to the Reykjavík Grapevine last week where she criticizes Canadian energy company Magma’s acquisition of Icelandic energy company HS Orka.
Björk. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
Björk said she cannot sit by quietly any longer and watch how Iceland’s nature is being sold.
“I hereby challenge the government of Iceland to do everything in its power to revoke the contracts with Magma Energy that entitle the Canadian firm complete ownership of HS Orka,” her declaration reads.
“I find it very important that Björk and everyone else should make their voices heard if they don’t want the profit from Icelandic resources to go to private overseas companies and out of the hands of the Icelandic public who owns these resources,” Environment Minister Svandís Svavarsdóttir told Morgunbladid.
“I happily accept her challenge and would like to be challenged from as many people as possible,” the minister added. She said she is keen on seeking ways to revoke the contact with Magma, mentioning legislations in that regard.
Svavarsdóttir said that the current legislation had not been discussed thoroughly in society before it was passed. “It appears as if nothing can prevent us from losing all of our natural resources.”
CEO of Magma in Iceland Ásgeir Margeirsson said Björk is under certain misconceptions, for example in regard to HS Energy being in ownership of the power plants in Svartsengi and on Reykjanes, which isn’t true.
The truth is that the natural resources are being rented to a private company and that according to the law, they cannot be sold, Margeirsson pointed out. The maximum leasing period is 65 years.
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