Environment Minister Holds Meeting on Smelters Skip to content

Environment Minister Holds Meeting on Smelters

Minister of the Environment Thórunn Sveinbjarnardóttir called her fellow party members in the Social Democrats to a meeting yesterday to discuss their declarations of support for aluminum smelters, which are not compatible with the party’s policy on climate issues.

Before the elections in May 2007, the Social Democrats claimed there was only room for one small aluminum smelter in addition to the others within the Icelandic provision on greenhouse gas emissions, 24 Stundir reports.

Yet some ministers from the Social Democrats, including Minister of Transport Kristján Möller, have declared their support for planned aluminum smelters in Bakki near Húsavík in northeast Iceland and in Helguvík on Reykjanes peninsula in southwest Iceland.

Ground has already been broken for the Helguvík smelter and recently Minister of Industry Össur Skarphédinsson, also from the Social Democrats, signed a new declaration of intent with Alcoa in regards to the smelter planned in Bakki. The Social Democrats have been subject to harsh criticism as a consequence.

Sveinbjarnardóttir called the meeting to discuss what the Social Democrats, who are part of the current coalition government with the Independence Party, could do to avoid breaching their own policy on climate issues. This was confirmed by her assistant, but 24 Stundir was unable to reach the minister.

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