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Photo: Katrín Jakobsdóttir before a debate on RÚV ahead of the 2021 elections..

Climate Change at Forefront of Coalition Talks

The chairpersons of the three coalition parties continue to “discuss the issues” in their ongoing coalition talks. Emphasis will be placed on matters relating to climate change, RÚV reports, although the three parties admit to espousing different visions.

Coalitions talks “progressing nicely”

After maintaining their majority in the recent elections, the leaders of the three governing parties have spent the past two weeks discussing the possibility of extending their coalition for another term.

Chairpersons Katrín Jakobsdóttir of the Left-Green Movement, Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson of the Progressive Party, and Bjarni Benediktsson of the Independence Party have kept their cards close to their vest. Following a meeting today, PM Katrín Jakobsdóttir told RÚV that the talks were progressing nicely. “In reality, we’re still going over these different sets of issues and diving deeper into individual points.”

When asked if the three chairpersons were in agreement upon issues relating to climate change and social welfare, Katrín replied in the affirmative: “Yes, I think we can expect to reach an agreement on these issues.”

Taking time to prevent difficulties later

When asked about the state of affairs, Finance Minister Bjarni Benediktsson remarked that the leaders were reviewing the list of assignments. “We’re trying to reach a united vision on those issues that have yet to be settled from our last term. There are a few points that require additional time, which we’re willing to give, in order to prevent difficulties down the road.”

Bjarni also stated that something needed to be done regarding the clumsy structure of the Master Plan for Nature Protection and Energy Utilization (i.e. Rammaáætlun), especially when it comes to decisions relating to green energy. “We’re excited for the opportunities, to create jobs, to work toward energy transitions, etc.”

Climate change looms large

Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson revealed that although the parties haven’t changed the emphasis have shifted. The threat of climate change looms large and will play a significant role in the challenges to come over the next four years.

Citing the discussion around green investment during the ongoing Arctic Circle Assembly, Sigurður stated: “Mankind needs to extricate itself from the difficult position that it has gotten itself into. We can rightly be proud of our successes over the past decades, but we also have opportunities, and we can continue to be a role model for other countries, which is something that we’ve been discussing; we’re approaching some kind of agreement.”

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